Athletes are coming to Orkney for international games

International athletes will be heading to Orkney after it was revealed they had successfully bid for the 2023 Island Games.

The news was revealed at the International Games Association (IIGA) in Gibraltar at the weekend.

The last time Scotland hosted the event was in 2005 when it was held in Shetland.

Twenty-four member islands take part in this prestigious bi-annual event at which 13 sports – archery, athletics, badminton, clay shooting, football, golf, gymnastics, lawn bowls, road cycling, sailing, squash, swimming and triathlon are competed in.

The IIGA executive committee had recommended that Orkney was capable of hosting the event following an inspection last year.

Jörgen Pettersson, chairman of the IIGA, said: ‘Congratulations to Orkney, one of our founding member islands.

‘Ever since the start of the IIGA in 1985 Orkney has enthusiastically taken part in the NatWest International Island Games.

‘Orkney will be the 12th host island of the games that brings islands and islanders together in friendly competition.’
MSP Liam McArthur, the Orkney 2023 bid chairman, said: ‘This is a fantastic achievement and I am confident that Orkney will put on a high quality games to remember.

‘Orkney has all the attributes to be the perfect host for these games.’

Orkney has been represented at all of the Games since they started in the Isle of Man in 1985.

The size and quality of the games has grown every year and now international standard athletes from 24 islands – from Aland to Alderney, Falkland Islands to the Faroes – meet for a week of intense competition.

Caithness Highland councillors have also welcomed the news.

Highland Council’s Caithness area chair Councillor Matthew Reiss said: ‘Congratulations to our near neighbours on securing the Island Games in 2023 – this a massive achievement.

‘We wish the organising committee for the Orkney Island Games all the best of success with this fantastic venture.’