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Memories from the Island Games 2023

Published on Monday, July 31, 2023

Memories from the Island Games 2023

14 different sports spread across the whole of Guernsey.  Thousands of volunteers and smiles everywhere.

The opening ceremony, including the parade of competitors along the promenade – cheered by probably the entire population of the island.

24 different islands competing, including Froya and Saaremaa – yes, I needed to get my atlas out as well.

Badminton taking up the entire week.  Over 500 matches on six courts in two adjacent halls with 12 umpires.  Did we see any other sports?  No.

Sitting in “Banham” chairs (remember them?) on five courts and one “proper” chair on the other.

Manual scoresheets plus an electronic tablet for streaming purposes.  Trying hard not to drop either.

Unpronounceable names.  Thank you Faroe Islands.

Spectators sitting inches away from the tramlines.

The deafening atmosphere generated by air horns, empty shuttle tubes and anything else that could make a noise – even more so whenever a Guernsey player was involved.

Hot and humid conditions all week – very sweaty.  Was this Guernsey or Jakarta?

Players proud to wear the shirt and travelling huge distances to represent their island.  Four days for the Falkland Islanders to get back home.

Random cars stopping to give anyone a lift who happened to be wearing the Games lanyard.

A big shout out for Sue Naftal (Referee), Jonny Holmes (IT guru who kept smiling even when everything started to fall apart) and Daryl Tapp who dealt with just about everything else.  Hope you guys now get a chance to sleep for a week.

Thank you Guernsey for the most wonderful, glorious, chaotic event.  Even when some unnamed umpires jumped on the wrong bus, ending up at the airport rather than the sports hall, you took it all in your stride and put on one hell of a show.  

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Author: Ian Johnstone

Categories: BUAofE, Tournaments

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