Well it’s comparable in size to the Winter Olympics. The NatWest Island Games kick off in Jersey in two weeks’ time. 3,000 competitors from 20 islands taking part in 14 sports. It’s the 16th edition of the Games which started in 1985 in the Isle of Man.
Britain generally ‘does’ mass organised events very well and Jersey certainly keeps up the high standards. Much depends on the extraordinary volunteer ethos in this part of the world. For the last two years the activity behind the scenes has been gathering pace with just two paid full-timers together with volunteer part-timers but with the essential backing of the Jersey States upon which provision of infrastructure and facilities depend.
Latterly we, the Games Makers, have been recruited and trained up. The Head GM Cliff Chipperfield was a GM at the London Olympics and he was enthused to organise the Jersey effort along the same lines. There are something like 400 of us and we had our final get together today, all decked out in our garish purple gear.
I’m happy to have landed the job as attaché to the team from the Falkland Islands who are bringing around 80 competitors, officials and supporters. (I did likewise with the small Iceland team in 1997, when the Games were last held here, after which that island never competed in the Games again!)
It will be huge and will dominate Island life for over a week. As usual, despite the razzmatazz, there will be those residents who will have only a vague idea that something is happening. They’ll have a shock if they set out for work at the usual time in the morning as thousands of athletes travel around to their venues.
It all kicks off with the Opening Ceremony on 27th June and I’ll be posting up plenty of words and images captured during the event.
Here’s the link to the official website.