History for the island, who will host the ‘mini-Olympics’ for the first time.
Ynys Môn will welcome thousands of athletes and spectators to the north-west of Wales after the International Island Games (IIGA) Member Islands today voted overwhelmingly in favour of bringing one of the world’s biggest sporting events to the island for the first time ever.
Dubbed a mini-Olympics for the small islands of the world, the International Island Games is one of the largest multi-sport event in existence, and up to 24 nations or islands from across the globe will descend on north-west Wales to contest the bi-annual event.
Ynys Môn hosted Inter-Island Games Football and Gymnastic competitions in 2019 and 2015 respectively to significant local and international acclaim. This greatly aided the strong bid put forward by the island to host the full Games and the competition’s bid committee welcomed this historic news from the IIGA today.
Originally bidding to host the Games in 2025, Ynys Môn’s hosting of the competition will depend on the rescheduling of Guernsey’s hosting of the Games, which was set to take place next summer, but will now be postponed with a decision taken on when those Games will be played to be decided in coming months.
Guernsey’s hosting of the 2021 Games has been delayed as a result of the current global pandemic which has severely affected preparations for next summer.
Discussions between the International Island Games Association, Guernsey and current 2023 hosts Orkney will take place in the near future before a decision is reached on when those Games will now take place, and what effect that has on when Ynys Môn will host the Games.
Ynys Mon’s Bid Committee Chair Gareth Parry said:
“This is a historic moment for our island and the result of a tremendous amount of work by so many stakeholders, not just from Ynys Môn but further afield as well. There’s a lot more work to be done, but we’re very excited for the challenge and to bring an amazing event to Ynys Môn in the future.
“Our Bid Committee is extremely grateful for the support we’ve received so far, most notably from Welsh Government and Isle of Anglesey County Council, as well as the many other stakeholders who have committed support to bringing the Games to life. We look forward to working with them all in future to host a truly transformative event for the island and wider region.
“We have shown with our hosting of the Inter Games gymnastics and football competitions in recent years the unrivalled passion for sport on the island, and the potential we have to host major events.
“Our aim now is to ensure that the Games help to transform current and future leisure provision on the island as well as bringing a much-needed boost to the tourism sector. The hard work starts now to make sure the event is an unprecedented success, and one that leaves a legacy for our young people in future.”
The Leader of Cyngor Sir Ynys Môn (Isle of Anglesey County Council), Councillor Llinos Medi, said:
“This is fantastic news for Ynys Môn and will help once again put our Island on the world map. A tremendous amount of effort has gone into making this bid a success – thanks to everyone, especially Gareth Parry, for his hard work.”
“The inter-island football tournament, held last year, showed that we can hold successful sporting events – and now we’ll be ready for the main event in future!”
Major Projects and Economic Development portfolio holder, Cllr Carwyn Jones, added:
“Despite the problems we currently face, this is a morale boosting lift for the young people of Ynys Môn who will be representing their Island on home soil in four years’ time.
“The opportunity to host the Island Games will also inspire many others to take part in sport and provide a much needed economic boost for the county. The Isle of Anglesey County Council has been a firm supporter of the bid and we look forward to playing our part in making the Island Games a huge success here on Ynys Môn.”
Member of the Senedd for Ynys Mon, Rhun ap Iorwerth said:
“This is fantastic news for Ynys Môn, securing the rights to host the International Island Games, bringing one of the biggest multi-sport events in the world to the island for the first time ever.
“I’m honoured to have been a part of the Bid Committee for the Games and want to thank Gareth Parry and all other Bid Committee Members, as well as key stakeholders from Welsh Government and Isle of Anglesey County Council, for working so hard to get us to this point.
“I’m looking forward to helping however I can in years to come to make sure the Games brings vital investment towards our leisure facilities on the island, and that a positive legacy is left for our future generations as a result of our hosting of the Games.
“The current climate may mean our hosting of the Games is a bit later, but nonetheless this is fantastic news for the island, and it’s important we don’t let this opportunity to make a difference pass us by.”