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All Systems are Go!

Fri, 06 Jul 2012

Next week representatives of the Member Islands of our Association will gather in Bermuda. With only one year to go before the Opening Ceremony of the NatWest Island Games XV takes place in the beautiful and colourful town of Hamilton, visits will be made to the sports facilities, infrastructure and accommodation to be used for the Games.

Since our Games began in 1985 their development has been remarkable. Today our Association is one of the world's largest multi-sport organisations and the number of our competitors normally exceeds those in the Winter Olympics! And our results have grown alongside our popularity. The standard of sport within our Member Islands has developed in a way that has exceeded even the wildest espectations of 27 years ago. The NatWest Island Games has proven that international competition leads to improvements in more areas than sport.

When young (and not-so-young) islanders come together with a mutual interest in sport it does not stop there. Over the years we have seen the start of new families, a deeper understanding for each others cultures and way of life. On top of that our islanders take home new skills which have help to develop their own islands.

The IIGA was founded to offer international competition to those islanders who would otherwise struggle to compete at international level. So far we have succeeded in this goal!

Whilst in Bermuda our Member Islands will meet formally for our Association's Annual General Meeting on 14th July and will amongst other things, decide the way forward for the Games. The Executive Committee has proposed to the Membership that rather than continue using the current Bidding System to decide the next Host Island, a system of negotiation should be brought in to eliminate the costly campaigns and bitter disappointments. Now is an appropriate time to make this change as Gotland is the only Candidate Island for the Games in 2017 and the Faroes Islands are ready to host the 2019 Games. The NatWest Island Games XVI in 2015 has, of course, already been awarded to Jersey.


Jorgen Petterssen

IIGA Chairman