Guernsey Press

Island Games athletes reject glamping village

PLANS to construct a glamping village for NatWest Island Games participants coming to the island next summer have been scrapped.

A sample glamping tent was set up for the International Island Games Association’s visit in July and chairman Jorgen Pettersson, centre, liked it. He is pictured with Games director Julia Bowditch, and director of volunteering Wayne Bulpitt. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 31531599)

Organisers had plans to host up to 700 athletes in tents on a makeshift site at Beau Sejour, which would have been set up around the softball diamond, kitted out with catering and high quality facilities.

It was intended to ease pressure on more than 30 hotels and other visitor accommodation reserved for the Games, following concerns that there would be a shortage of beds for athletes and officials.

But the plans failed to get much support from the athletes, some of whom pointed out that the cost of staying in one of the glamping tents was on a par with budget accommodation already available.

‘We had a sample tent set up last year so people could see it, we wanted to have a budget option for the member islands,’ said Games director Julia Bowditch.

She said it was disappointing that the idea had not been appealing to the participants. A lot of work had gone into preparing for it, although there had been no financial loss.

‘The main issue was that in order to keep the cost down we needed to have 500-700 people, but there was limited interest in it.

‘That made it more of a challenge, so people will be more spread across hotels and self-catering now.’

There was still enough bed space available for the 3,200 people expected to be coming for the event in July, but it means some teams will likely have to be split up.

Hotels spoken to by the Guernsey Press said they were fully booked during the event,

‘We were going to give islands their own zones because we know teams like to stick together. Teams are getting a lot bigger, too,’ said Ms Bowditch.

Some islands have more than 200 competitors, including Jersey and the Isle of Man, and Guernsey has up to 300 athletes taking part.

The organisers had agreed a partnership with Tent2hire, which provided services to the London 2012 Olympics.

Jorgen Pettersson, the chairman of the International Island Games Association, tried a sample glamping tent when he visited the island in July. He said he thought the option was ‘a brilliant idea’.

‘At the end of the day, it’s not the comfort that you’re after when you’re competing at the NatWest International Island Games – you are here for the adventure. This is adventure, both in accommodation and in sport,’ he said.

. The Island Games features 14 different sports and is taking place from 8 to 14 July 2023.