Sports Minister Speaks On NatWest Island Games

July 13, 2012

Minister of Youth, Families and Sports Glenn Blakeney spoke yesterday [July 12] about next year’s Island Games, which will be held in Bermuda.

Minister Blakeney said: “Let me take this opportunity in warmly welcoming Chairman of the International Island Games Association, Mr. Jorgen Petterson to Bermuda and indeed thank Mr. Jon Beard, Chairman of the Bermuda Island Games Association and Mr. Chuck Millican, Games Director for the 15th NatWest Island Games 2013 for joining us today.

“Bermuda is extremely fortunate in having the opportunity to host this event for the first time and I am very pleased that the Games will be held here. The Bermuda Government is a major sponsor for the Games, scheduled to be held from July 13 through until July 19, 2013.

“Approximately 1,800 athletes are expected to participate in the NatWest Island Games, with a Bermuda team of approximately 200 or more athletes.

“This will be a dazzling exhibition of sports – 16 events are planned, including: athletics, badminton, basketball, cycling, football, golf, gymnastics, sailing, sailboarding, target shooting, squash, swimming, tennis, triathlon, indoor volleyball and beach volleyball.

“All of the events will be held at venues Island-wide at such locations as: The National Sports Centre, the Bermuda College, Horseshoe Bay, Warwick Camp, Spanish Point Boat Club and BFA Field in Prospect, among other designated locations.

“A great deal of planning and associated preparations have already begun to ensure that the Games are well facilitated and the ultimate success we all envision,” continued the Minister.

“The International Island Games were founded in the Isle of Man in 1985 and today include 24 member islands in, or associated with, the nine sovereign nations of Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Great Britain, and the Caribbean.

“The small Island nations come together every two years to compete in friendly competition in a range of up to 14 sports chosen by the host Island from an approved list of 18 sports.

“Since 1999 NatWest has been the title sponsor for the Island Games which have become one of the largest international multi-sport events in the world, behind the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics. During the summer of 2008, Bermuda secured its bid to host the NatWest Island Games 2013. Around 2,000 athletes and officials, plus many supporters are expected to attend this prestigious multi- sports event.

“Bermuda’s first appearance in the Games was in 2003, in Guernsey. In the five biennial Games in which Bermuda has competed, we have sent over 700 athletes and won more than 100 medals.

“On behalf of the Government and the people of Bermuda, I wish all the athletes good luck participating in this exciting event and I strongly encourage all residents to come out and support our local and overseas athletes who will again go for Gold,” concluded Minister Blakeney.

The Island Games has had some of the European-based teams withdraw, citing the expense of getting to Bermuda. Jersey’s volleyball, football and basketball teams; and the football team’s from the Isle of Man and Guernsey have all withdrawn.

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Category: All, Sports