Dame Mary Perkins, chairwoman of the Guernsey Island Games Committee, outlined good progress in preparations for 2021 at a presentation to States members and sponsors on Thursday, which coincided with the visit to the island of IIGA chairman Jorgen Pettersson.
The most notable point to come forward was that the island will have enough beds to cater for the large influx of visitors, which could rise up towards 3,500 from the 2,000 who arrived in 2003.
‘We actually do have enough beds,’ said Dame Mary.
‘It has to be controlled where people go, but we do have enough and one of the things we will be looking at is that there may be people in private homes that will consider not take in a sports team, but perhaps a visiting official.’
Considerations are already being given to the venue for the opening ceremony and due to the far greater numbers than 2003, when the North Quay and Albert Pier were utilised, it is more likely that the 2021 version could be on North Beach, where the erection of raked seating may be temporarily retained for spectators watching the finish of events such as the half-marathon and triathlon.
Market Square may be used as a Games Square with a large screen in place and a live feed from sporting events going on across the island while people take advantage of al fresco seating. It may also be used as an evening entertainment venue.
Games director Julia Bowditch will start her full-time role from 1 January 2019. She is an expert in event management and currently living abroad working on major sporting events.
‘She will be the one who will whip us into shape,’ said Dame Mary, who recently attended the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast to see how the Queenslanders set about things.