Taking inspiration from elite events

A ‘SPECTACLE’ incorporating elements from some of track and field’s most prestigious competitions is the shared vision of the new co-ordinators of athletics at Guernsey 2023.

New Guernsey 2023 athletics co-ordinator Josh Allaway. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 30987312)
New Guernsey 2023 athletics co-ordinator Josh Allaway. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 30987312)

Josh Allaway took on the lead organisational role from Geoff King earlier this year, more recently enlisting the help of Simon Murphy as the countdown to the home Island Games ticks on.

With just under a year remaining until many of the IIGA’s greatest athletes flock to Footes Lane, the duo are striving to provide the best event possible.

‘We want people to come and enjoy it and to be inspired,’ Allaway said.

‘The competition itself and the standard of the competition takes care of itself with the athletes that are competing, so we want to make the event as enjoyable and spectator-friendly as we can.

‘We’re taking inspiration from larger competitions like the Diamond Leagues, and that’s not to say ours will be to the same level or standard as those, but things we can take inspiration from, we will do.

‘We will try to implement it and make it a bit different and more spectator-friendly than previous Games.’

Their focuses include attracting solid media coverage, providing athlete-centric announcements – such as walk-outs – and bringing spectators as close as possible to the action.

The Portugal-based King had earlier announced on social media that he was leaving the role, to which he had already begun committing himself before the initial date in 2021.

‘I am a little disappointed that my vision for the athletics at the Games no longer appears to hold the support it once did, but primarily my location in Portugal will incur personal costs of several thousands of pounds which I am now to be personally responsible for,’ he wrote.

His replacements both competed at Gotland 2017 but missed out on Gibraltar, with sprinter Allaway working in Mauritius and 800m specialist Murphy injured. They are now both back on the local athletics scene and determined to build on the foundations provided by King.

‘I wanted to compete but age has worked against me with the delay, so I’m just happy with the involvement,’ Murphy said.

‘A problem shared is a problem halved – we work well together, we’re good mates and we decided to do it jointly to share the workload.’

Allaway added: ‘Competing is unlikely for me and I guess also, I was initially – four or five years ago – doing the role before I moved away to Mauritius and handed it to Geoff.

‘I’m taking the good work that Geoff’s done so far ... I’m passionate about making the Games as good as it can be and that’s the driving factor for myself.’

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