The decision on when the postponed NatWest International Island Games are to be held has been made and was announced on Tuesday (8 December) by International Island Games Association chair Jörgen Pettersson.

There will be no games held in 2021, and the Guernsey Island Games will be postponed until 2023, with other games following every odd numbered year thereafter.

Jörgen Pettersson said: “Today the time has come to communicate a decision made due to the pandemic, which has hit us hard and made planning very difficult.

“The next NatWest International Island Games will take place in the summer of 2023. The reasons for this are several, but the most important is the wellbeing of all our competitors and island games associations – the safety of island people.

“We have agreed to postpone the games in order to continue as we have done ever since the first games in 1985 and to meet for sport every odd year thereafter.”

The decision means games move forward by two years, with Orkney scheduled for 2025, Ynys Mon in 2027 and the Isle of Man the preferred host for 2029.

Mr Pettersson also confirmed that the principal sponsor, NatWest, is to continue support of the games until Guernsey 2023.

Reacting to the announcement, the chair of Western Isles Island Games Association, Norrie Macdonald said: “While we are disappointed for our athletes the decision to postpone the Guernsey Games until the summer of 2023 has been extremely challenging and not unexpected.

“As always, IIGA chair Jorgen Pettersson stays positive as he explains the reasoning behind the decision that had to take into consideration so many factors. We look forward to sport getting back to some sort of normality so that our athletes can start preparations.”

“We would like to thank all those who have been involved in the decision making for doing this so diligently.

“We look forward to meeting up with all our friends across the member islands as soon as we’re able. Bring on Guernsey 2023!”

The picture shows the Western Isles squad in Gibraltar in 2019 (John Piris/Gibraltar 2019).