Orkney will be hosting the 2023 Island Games.
The successful Bid Committee included representatives from the Orkney Island Games Association, Orkney Islands Council and EventScotland (on behalf of Scottish Government), as well as local sports associations and the wider community over the last two years. The Scottish Government will be contributing half a million pounds towards the costs of staging the prestigious event.
Jörgen Pettersson, Chairman of the International Island Games Association, 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 twelfth host island of the Games that brings islands and islanders together in friendly competition.”
The event is expected to attract up to 2,000 visitors to the islands as well as providing a number of job opportunities for locals, including up to three full-time positions available in the run up to the Games as part of the event’s organising team.
Harvey Johnston, Convener of Orkney Islands Council, said:
“Orkney’s hosting of the Games in five years’ time offers a wealth of opportunities for our island communities whether that be our sporting stars or our accommodation and hospitality providers.
“Orcadians are passionate about sporting competition and the Island Games – we’ve been a permanent presence at the Games since they began and it’s been a long term aspiration to bring the games here.”
The Island Games 2023 will also be a chance to celebrate the best of Orkney through its place, produce and people as well as providing opportunities to create a lasting sporting legacy for the islands, whether through participation or the development of coaching and other supporting roles.
Liam McArthur MSP, Orkney 2023 Bid Chairman, said:
“I want to pay particular tribute to all those who played their part in enabling the Bid Committee to put forward such a strong set of proposals. The support of Orkney Islands Council and the Scottish Government has been invaluable, while the enthusiastic engagement from local sports groups, community councils and the wider community in Orkney shone through in the proposals we were able to present.”
Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop, said:
“Hosting the 2023 Island Games is a fantastic opportunity for Orkney and the whole of Scotland to deliver another memorable, world-class multi-sport event, while enabling local and international audiences to experience what our diverse country has to offer.
“I am pleased that the Scottish Government was able to join other partners in pledging our support, contributing up to £500,000 towards the delivery of the Games.
A total of 13 sports – Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Clay Shooting, Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Lawn Bowls, Road Cycling, Sailing, Squash, Swimming and Triathlon – will feature at the 2023 edition of the Games.
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said
“Events play a vital role in our visitor economy and EventScotland is committed to supporting the delivery of a diverse portfolio of events that not only showcase Scotland as the perfect stage for events but also bring strong economic and social benefits to all regions across the country.
“The Island Games will certainly do this for Orkney and we look forward to continuing to work in partnership with everyone as our focus now turns to bringing the island communities together in 2023 and delivering the best Island Games ever.”
Held every two years, the Games brings together the 24 member islands of the IIGA to compete in friendly competition. Orkney has been a member of the International Island Games Association since its inception in 1985 and for a number of years has had aspirations to host the Games.
Work will now commence on establishing the organising committee for the Orkney Island Games 2023. Further details about this will be announced in due course.