Organisers are continuing to work hard to ensure Guernsey is ready to host the NatWest International Island Games in 2021.
While no international sporting events can be certain of going ahead in 2021, organisers of the Games are planning on the assumption that athletes from 23 islands will be competing in Guernsey between 3rd and 9th July 2021.
Deputy Matt Fallaize, President of the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture,says: ‘The global coronavirus pandemic has inevitably had an impact on major sporting events and no one can predict with certainty what the next few months will bring or what the situation will be in summer 2021.
'However, our dedicated team of organisers are already well advanced with their preparations. We are all keeping our fingers crossed that in 14 months’ time Guernsey will be hosting this fantastic week of sport for the first time in nearly 20 years. Organisers are now working remotely as they are determined to maintain momentum. They are in frequent contact with the other islands and the participating sports’ associations, many of which are directly affected by the pandemic.’
The Guernsey 2021 Committee is also in regular liaison with the International Island Games Association (IIGA) Executive Committee. It has been agreed that the IIGA AGM, which was due to be hosted here in Guernsey in July this year, will be postponed, although a comprehensive update will be provided at that time.
Deputy Fallaize said: ‘Hosting the Island Games is something which so many people in our community are enthusiastic about. This is demonstrated by the fact that more than 650 people locally have already registered as volunteers to assist organisers.
‘The Guernsey 2021 team will continue to work with the IIGA and the member islands to understand the potential impact of the pandemic on our event and all of the islands’ preparations for the event.’
As part of preparations for the 2021 Games, the new athletics track at Foote’s Lane is now fully operational. The next phase of work is to identify the full extent of the refurbishment required to the Garenne Stand and other facilities at the venue. A planning application has been submitted for improvements which are necessary to the accessible viewing platform on the first floor of the Stand and accessible toilets.
The Committee for Education, Sport & Culture has encouraged the 2021 Games to be used as a link between sport and education. Each primary school will be partnered with one of the competing islands as part of the One School One Island Programme. Schoolchildren will learn about the values, traditions and culture of the island they have adopted and information about the sports represented at the Games. This Programme will be launched in September 2020.