Final decision on Guernsey 2021 to be taken at end of September

The Guernsey 2021 organising team delivered an online update to member islands on Saturday. Credit: Guernsey 2021

A final decision on whether the 2021 NatWest International Island Games will go ahead as planned in Guernsey will be taken at the end of September.

The Games are set to return to the island for a record third time between 3-9 July next summer, but the coronavirus pandemic has cast doubt over the scale of the event.

Games organisers updated the 23 member islands on their plans via an online briefing on Saturday but nothing will be finalised until the International Island Games Association's AGM on 26 September.

"That is the sort of stop-go date for the future planning of what we have to adjust to, whether we're going to have the full-scale games next summer or whether it will be something else", IIGA chairman Jorgen Pettersson told ITV News.

"So far it is too early to say, we are in the same position as the rest of the world, we don't know exactly where the pandemic is going right now".

  • Watch: IIGA chairman Jorgen Pettersson

Next year's Games had been touted as the biggest ever with some 3,500 team members expected to come to Guernsey to take part and the IIGA's chairman is hopeful that it can still inspire member islands as they recover from the effects of the pandemic.

"It is a beacon, not only for our islands but for all of the sporting world, because we have to show everyone that we're going to come back, we're going to go through this, and we're going to get stronger from it", he said.

"People have to come together, we have to get enthusiasm from each other, and we have to inspire each other, and the NatWest International Island Games in Guernsey is surely one of these moments where we could actually be a role model for the rest of the world".

"We all desperately hope to soon be in Guernsey and be able to do this - this is what we do, we do create platforms for international sports and friendship and the world needs this more than ever right now".

The IIGA's AGM had been due to take place in Guernsey over the weekend but was postponed because of the pandemic and will now be held remotely.