The Games first started in 1985 when the Isle of Man brought together athletes from 15 small islands around the world for a new sporting festival called the ‘Inter-Island Games’. It proved such a success that it was agreed that it should continue every other year. The Games have since grown to include 24 member islands: Áland, Alderney, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Froya, Gibraltar, Gotland, Gozo, Greenland, Guernsey, Hitra, Isle of Man, Isle of Wight, Jersey, Menorca, Orkney, Saaremaa, St Helena, Sark, Shetland, Western Isle and Ynys Mon.
It’s a big event in the island’s sporting calendar as Guernsey prepares to welcome around 3,000 athletes, coaches and officials from 8th to 14th July. It’s also a huge honour for the island, the first to host for a third time, having previously hosted in 1987 and 2003 and as the Games welcomes spectators at every event, it’s a fantastic opportunity for islanders to watch live international sport on home soil.
After a four-year hiatus due to COVID the event is back this year with a new member of the Games family. Gozo, an island in the Mediterranean is competing for the first time internationally under the Gozo flag.
1,200 local volunteers, dressed in green tees and navy blue caps have been trained up to be the welcoming ambassadors of Guernsey and will be ensuring the Games run smoothly.
Guernsey are no strangers to the podium, having topped the medal table in three previous Games, been runners up in two and been placed in the top five at every one of them.
It’s not all about the scoreboards though, the Games are a chance for thousands of young people from around the world to explore the island, share their love of sport and form lasting friendships.