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Island Games continues to reap success

Island Games continues to reap success

Monday 12 February 2024

Island Games continues to reap success

Monday 12 February 2024

Looking back at the 2023 Island Games, the organisers say they can only just now appreciate exactly what a logistical achievement it was.

The team - led by Games Director Julia Bowditch MBE - was honoured at the 2023 Betway Channel Islands Sports Personality of the Year awards.

They received the Judges Award for Achievement on Thursday night, which came as a surprise to Julia, assistant director Amanda Hibbs and IT Director Colin Le Conte. 

"Looking back now, with a bit of perspective, I think you can really appreciate what a logistical achievement it was and also, we talk about it all the time, but all the volunteers and all the organising committee, just getting 1000 volunteers registered and trained and uniformed, it was such a such a large piece of work," said Julia.

Colin said a lot of the success of the Island Games was down to the partner organisations who worked with the main organising committee.

"We teamed up with Sure, and Sure did an amazing job to put 5G fibre to all the different venues and they gave a SIM to every competitor who came over, which made a big difference. Sure was involved in the Result Service, which was obviously a big area and even live streaming.

"The overall feeling is just great, to get the feedback, it was a great success."

Amanda added that the volunteers were just as important and they still can't thank them enough.

"We've mentioned them so many times already, but we couldn't have done it without those volunteers," she said. "We worked really hard, but actually, we didn't have to work that hard because the team spirit was just amazing all the way through."

There's been a lot of talk about the legacy of the Island Games and Julia, Colin, and Amanda all had different thoughts on what the legacy was.

"I think it's what a community can do when they all come together and are working towards one goal. What we achieved with support of the people from Guernsey to me is a very, very special memory, and it was just a privilege to be involved with it," said Amanda.

Colin said the continued increase in sports participation and the connectivity improvements are his highlights.

"...cycling and basketball and all these events, they're all talking about record uptake," he said. "I think people were inspired by the whole event, and I think it's great, you know? And then we've also left a legacy on the IT side of it as well. There's the Wi Fi around different places that didn't have it before. I think the whole thing, and even people like sailing now have tracking systems that they can reach out to for tracking some of the events which opens it up to the whole public.

"There're lots of different elements, which we're very proud of."

For Julia she said that looking back she knew from day one, when the opening ceremony went well, that the whole week would be a success.

"I knew once we had the opening ceremony, we could all relax because we knew that all the islands were so happy and elated about it. It made all our jobs a bit easier because they were coming from such a positive space that there would be no complaining and again the same with the streaming, it was the most streamed Island Games," she said.

"I think we had over 300,000 hits on YouTube and we had people calling us if they changed a match or something like that, you know, calling us on the other side of the world. I think that when you see that, it's the community of the Island Games and I think you can then see the impact it has."

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