Yesterday evening the International Island Games Association announced its decision to reschedule the postponed 2021 Games in Guernsey for the summer of 2023 – replacing Orkney.
But if there was disappointment in the additional delay when 2022 was an option is some eyes, Guernsey Games organisers were hiding it well.
Dame Mary Perkins, chair of the Guernsey 2021 Organising Committee, said ‘although we were well advanced with our planning, we fully support the decision from the IIGA and firmly believe that the Guernsey 2023 NatWest International Island Games will be an event like no other’.
She added: ‘We will use this time to work as hard as we can to put on the best event possible and give Guernsey and the other member Islands something to look forward to and we now have to liaise with everyone involved to get the final date and details.
IIGA chair Jorgen Petersson revealed that the plan for future Games will be to move forward the confirmed host islands by two years.
Orkney will now have 2025, Ynys Mon will be 2027 and the Isle of Man will become the preferred host for 2029.
Petersson said it had not been an easy decision.
‘Although the outcome of the consultation supported 2023, we have tried hard to find solutions in order to do what we are meant to be doing – develop sports within our islands.
‘The pandemic has changed our lives and substantially impacted all our member islands, both healthwise and economically. Competitors have not been able to prepare in the usual way through training and competition.
‘It is fair to say that we all feel disappointment to not be able to meet and compete until 2023. Sports and friendship have created legacies, memories, passion and ambitions in all our member islands. We will meet in Guernsey and we will make sure we continue to develop sport in our islands.'