Guernsey’s much-awaited Island Games will not take place next year due to the pandemic.
The decision was announced at the International Island Games Association’s virtual AGM this weekend. Chairman Jorgen Pettersson said the pandemic was very clearly “not over”, meaning that planning for the Games next July would be practically “impossible”.
“First and foremost, in making the decision was the wellbeing of all the member island’s sports people and the impact that any importation of the virus into Guernsey would have on their island,” he said.
“We have waited for even the slightest possible opportunity to go on with the Games in 2021, but we have to acknowledge the facts. The pandemic is not over, the quarantine regulations will continue to make planning forward very, very difficult and even impossible."
Pictured: IIGA Chairman Jorgen Pettersson said the pandemic has made it almost impossible to plan ahead for next year.
“Therefore, it would not be fair to ask the member islands or the host island to commit financially to an event next summer. This has been a difficult decision to accept for all of us. I am truly sorry for this decision, but I also know the determination in our island communities, and I am convinced we will come back in friendly competition under the umbrella of NatWest International Island Games as soon as possible’.
Games Director Julia Bowditch explained why the decision had to be taken now.
“As part of our contingency planning, we have had a freeze on our spending since March.
"Whereas we were very advanced with our planning before the pandemic, there are now many other factors to be considered – as well as the obvious health and travel implications, many of the sporting associations and governing bodies are issuing new guidelines for hosting sporting events which we do not have the resources and facilities to implement.”
Pictured: Games Director Julia Bowditch said it would have been financially unviable to put in place all of the facilities necessary in the current climate.
Dame Mary Perkins, Chair of the Guernsey 2021 Organising Committee, said several meetings have been held with Guernsey’s Director of Public Health Dr Nicola Brink, as well as the authorities in other participating islands.
“We have been in regular contact with the International Island Games Executive Committee and have kept them fully updated so that they have all of the information they need in order to make their decisions about the Games,” she said.
“In all of our planning, the health and safety of our athletes, volunteers, spectators, supporters and our Guernsey community have always been our priority, and will continue to be so. Whereas we know that this announcement comes as a huge disappointment, we would like to thank all our volunteers, sponsors and sports coordinators for their continued support.”
Pictured top: A virtual meeting conducted by the local organising committee earlier this year.
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