Guernsey Press

'Thank you Guernsey' - public praised for setting Island Games tone

The Island Games were made a success by the people of Guernsey.

Huge crowds turned out all week, including on 'Fantastic Friday' when heavy rain did nothing to dampen spirits at the Island Games' first ever triathlon relay event. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost)

That was the message from Guernsey Island Games Association chairman Brian Allen as he reflected on an amazing week, which saw the host island come out on top of the medal table, but more importantly make a lasting impression on all the visiting competitors, officials and spectators.

‘It was the Guernsey public that set the tone for the Island Games,’ he said.

‘Their amazing turn out and enthusiasm at the opening ceremony was the starting point of the Games. The athletes were overwhelmed by the support and could not help but be inspired to raise their game for the competition.

‘We have to go back to the Isle of Wight 2011 since we last topped the table in the medal count. At every event the support from the Guernsey public was so inspirational.

  • Listen to the latest Guernsey Press Sport Podcast for reaction to an extraordinary week for the island and island sport

‘The turn out from the Guernsey public was the highest ever in any Games and along with the slogan has become an “Inspiring Islands” target for future Games.’

Allen added that the volunteers, of which there were well over 1,000 assisting with the Games, demonstrated the wonderful community spirit and Giga wanted to thank the whole island for their support for the whole event.

‘It is a long time ago in the pre-Games meeting in Jersey 2014 that we discussed the possibility of hosting the 19th Island Games in Guernsey. So much has happened since then.

‘What a week we had. I think it is fair to say the standard of competition from many of the islands has improved greatly, however Guernsey was up for the task and achieved so many successes in lots of the sports.

‘The legacy of the Games is that it inspires the youngsters to want more and go for the golds. They have now seen the standard and what has to be done for future success. Orkney now becomes a goal for so many.

‘To top the medal table so convincingly was an achievement beyond our dreams.’

He expressed his gratitude to competitors and coaches for their commitment, the States for their financial assistance and the major sponsors, as well as local businesses who gave their backing, and also the organising committee for their non-stop hard work, along with the 14 sports who put on competitions to meet international standards.

Guernsey Island Games Association Chairman Brian Allen has expressed his gratitude to islanders for helping make Guernsey 2023 a success. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost)

‘What makes the Island Games so different from any other major large sporting event is that it is a totally amateur event and happens through the dedicated hard work of volunteers,’ said Allen.

‘The army of Guernsey volunteers and the public made the Games. So many local people giving up their time to help by joining the organising committee and assisting at the events.

'Many volunteers roles were such that meant while hundreds watched the sporting event, they spent the whole time on duty.

'They displayed such dedication and selfless support for the Games.

‘This was a week to remember that will become part of Guernsey’s history with so much to be proud of.

'So many athletes commented on how they will be returning to this lovely island of Guernsey in the future.’