The Island Games (currently known as the NatWest Island Games for sponsorship reasons) are an international multi-sports event organised by the International Island Games Association. The most recent games were held in Jersey (except the gymnastics, which were held on a different island) from 27 June to 3 July 2015, with around 3000 competitors from 24 competing islands or island groups competing in 14 sports.
The Island Games began in 1985 as the Inter-Island Games, as part of the Isle of Man International Year of Sport, and were intended to be a one-off sporting celebration only. Geoffrey Corlett, who became the first Games Director, not only contacted the islands surrounding the United Kingdom, but also encouraged the countries of Iceland and Malta, the territories of Faroe Islands, Greenland, Saint Helena, the Channel Islands and others to participate.
Initially, fifteen islands with 600 competitors and officials took part in seven sports, with the total cost of staging the Games being put at £70,000. The track and field events were held on an eight-lane grass track, a far cry from the current games, which now use synthetic tracks in stadiums capable of holding thousands of spectators. The Games of 1985 were so successful that organisers decided to hold a similar event two years later. The games have grown from strength to strength with limits now in place over the number of teams, currently 24 and the number of sports at each games, currently 14. Sark could be considered the most successful island, their population of 600 having acquired 20 medals by 2015, one for every 30 people.
|1985||I||Isle of Man||15||700||7|
|1993||V||Isle of Wight||19||1,448||14|
|2001||IX||Isle of Man||22||2,020||15|
|2011||XIV||Isle of Wight||24||2,306||14|
Orkney have indicated that they are willing to play host for the 2023 games.
Ynys Môn are contemplating a bid for the 2025 games, the bid being mentioned by the MP for Ynys Môn in the House of Commons. So are the Isle of Man.
A total of twenty-seven islands have participated in the Island Games, of which eleven islands have participated in every Island Games.
|Åland||Finnish autonomous province||28,666||1985–||157||172||155||484|
|Alderney||British crown dependency||1,900||1987, 1993–||0||2||3||5|
|Bermuda||British overseas territory||64,200||2003–||88||80||99||267|
|Cayman Islands||British overseas territory||56,700||1999–||99||73||65||237|
|Falkland Islands||British overseas territory||2,900||1993–||1||7||11||19|
|Faroe Islands|| Autonomous country of the
Kingdom of Denmark
|Frøya||Norwegian municipality island||4,300||1985–||1||1||2||4|
|Gibraltar||British overseas territory||30,000||1987–||53||58||88||199|
|Greenland|| Autonomous country
within the Kingdom of Denmark
|Guernsey||British crown dependency||65,800||1985–||382||392||429||1,203|
|Hitra||Norwegian municipality island||4,250||1985–1989, 1997–||3||5||5||13|
|Isle of Man||British crown dependency||84,500||1985–||413||396||407||1,216|
|Isle of Wight||English county||138,400||1985–||160||154||190||504|
|Jersey||British crown dependency||100,000||1985–||491||491||444||1,426|
|Orkney Islands||Scottish council area||21,300||1985–||20||37||41||98|
|Rhodes||Greek island||115,500||1999–2011, 2015–||51||44||43||138|
|Saint Helena||British overseas territory||4,250||1985–1987, 1997–||1||2||3||6|
|Sark||British crown dependency||600||1987–2011, 2015–||3||9||8||20|
|Shetland Islands||Scottish council area||23,200||1985–||48||68||93||209|
| Western Isles
Na h-Eileanan an Iar
|Scottish council area||27,400||2005–||17||13||22||49|
|Ynys Môn||council area of Wales||69,700||1985–||27||33||46||106|
|Prince Edward Island||Province of Canada||140,000||1991–2007||6||6||9||21|
Islands marked in grey are no longer members of the Island Games.
The host country chooses between 12 and 14 different sports for their games from this list:
|Bowls (Indoor‡ , Outdoor, or Ten Pin*)||‡||*||‡||3||*|
|Sailing (may include Sailboarding*)||*||*||*||*||*||*||*||*||*||*||12|
|Volleyball (may include Beach Volleyball*)||*||*||*||16||*||*|
- "NatWest Island Games XVI - Jersey 2015". Jersey2015.com - Island Games. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
- "Inaugural Inter-Island Games - Isle of Man 1985". iiga.org.
- "The Games". Jersey2015.com. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
- "2017 sports".
- James Law. "BBC Sport - Island Games: Menorca pull out of hosting 2019 event". BBC Sport.
- "BBC Sport - Island Games: Gibraltar bid to host 2019 competition". BBC Sport.
- "Guernsey to host the 2021 Island Games". IIGA.
- "2019 Island Games: Gibraltar axes football, cycling and volleyball".
- "Guernsey to host 2021 Island Games". BBC News. 2 July 2016. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
- "Island Games: Guernsey to bid to host 2021 event". 4 August 2015.
- "Orkney Willing to Host the Games!". 9 Dec 2013.
- "Anglesey's 2025 Island Games bid 'getting serious'". 7 July 2015.
- "Commonwealth Games: Wales". Hansard. 16 March 2016.
- "Manx bid to host future Island Games". Manx radio. 11 July 2016.
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