The Island Games
The ‘Inter-Island’ Games were born in the Isle of Man in 1985, with the intention of bringing together a number of small islands from different parts of the world in friendly competition as part of the Isle of Man’s Year of Sport.
Athletes came from as far a field as Iceland and Scandinavia in the northern hemisphere, the British Isles, the Mediterranean and even as far down as St. Helena in the South Atlantic. In total 15 islands took part.
The idea was to provide an opportunity for hundreds of young sportsmen and women from small island communities, to compete and enjoy international competition against other islanders with similar standards of performance. Other benefits of such a unique festival of sport are the opportunities for cultural exchange and social interaction with visiting teams, and to establish new lifelong friendships with fellow islanders.
In many ways, sporting competition is only one aspect of the success of this event. As important are the opportunities it affords to share thoughts and experiences relating to our unique island stories. With that in mind, the theme for our advertising has been NatWest – bringing islands together.
The event was such a success that it was agreed to continue it every other year, with Guernsey hosting the Games in 1987. The Games have subsequently been held in the Faroe Islands, Aland, Isle of Wight, Gibraltar, Jersey, Gotland in 1999 (the first Games of NatWest offshore’s sponsorship), Isle of Man, Guernsey, Shetland Is, Rhodes, Aland and Bermuda.
The number of Islands participating has grown substantially, and now 25 Islands are members of the International Island Games Association.
The Isle of Wight as Hosts
The XIV Island Games (also known as the 2011 Natwest Island Games for sponsorship reasons) was held from June 25th to July 1st 2011, in the Isle of Wight. A total of 2,306 athletes from 24 islands competed in 15 sports and 190 events.
The 2011 Island Games were the second Island Games to be hosted by the Isle of Wight, the first being in 993. The Isle of Wight was also the fourth island to host multiple Games.
Various members of the Islands clubs and committee members from the IWTSA were responsible for helping to organise and run the shooting events. The events themselves took place in a number of venues, and the Isle of Wight managed to win 13 medals in total across all the different shooting disciplines.
In 2013 the games were hosted in Bermuda., but only 3 competitors went to represent the Isle of Wight in the Shooting disciplines. Only 1 Silver medal was won on this occasion.