The Island Games (currently known as the NatWest International Island Games for sponsorship reasons) are an international multi-sports event organised by the International Island Games Association (IIGA). Competitor teams each represent different island communities (with one team from the peninsula of Gibraltar) which are IIGA members. Currently all competitor teams represent non-sovereign territories of European nations - some within European waters and some further overseas.
The most recent edition was 2019 which took place in Gibraltar, with around 2,000 competitors from 22 competing islands or island groups competing in 14 sports. The next games will be hosted by Guernsey in 2021.
|Most recent||2019 Island Games|
|Next event||2021 Island Games|
|Website||2017 Island Games|
The Island Games began in 1985 as the Inter-Island Games, as part of the Isle of Man International Year of Sport, and were intended to be a one-off sporting celebration only. Geoffrey Corlett, who became the first Games Director, not only contacted the islands surrounding the United Kingdom, but also encouraged the countries of Iceland and Malta, the territories of Faroe Islands, Greenland, Saint Helena, the Channel Islands and others to participate.
Initially, fifteen islands with 600 competitors and officials took part in seven sports, with the total cost of staging the Games being put at £70,000. The track and field events were held on an eight-lane grass track, a far cry from the current games, which now use synthetic tracks in stadiums capable of holding thousands of spectators. The Games of 1985 were so successful that organisers decided to hold a similar event two years later. The games have grown from strength to strength with limits now in place over the number of teams, currently 24 and the number of sports at each games, currently 14. Sark could be considered the most successful island, their population of 600 having acquired 20 medals by 2015, one for every 30 people.
NatWest has been the main sponsor of the games since 1999. In April 2018, they signed a deal extending their sponsorship until at least 2021.
|1985||I||Isle of Man||15||700||7|
|1993||V||Isle of Wight||19||1,448||14|
|2001||IX||Isle of Man||22||2,020||15|
|2011||XIV||Isle of Wight||24||2,311||14|
Guernsey put in a bid for the 2021 games following the Faroe Islands' withdrawal from hosting. The bid was approved in July 2016.
Orkney will host the 2023 Games. They were awarded the right to host on 7 July 2018 at the AGM in Gibraltar.
In August 2018 it was reported that the Falkland Islands are considering hosting the Games in 2033, and "the Island Games Executive is planning to visit the Falklands in 2020 for their Spring Meeting" to discuss the proposition.
A total of twenty-seven islands or island groups have participated in the Island Games; eleven of these have participated in every Island Games.
|Island(s)||Country and status||Population||Years||Gold||Silver||Bronze||Total|
|Åland||Finnish autonomous province||28,666||1985–||157||172||155||484|
|Alderney||Part of a British crown dependency||1,900||1987, 1993–||0||2||3||5|
|Bermuda||British overseas territory||64,200||2003–||88||80||99||267|
|Cayman Islands||British overseas territory||56,700||1999–||99||73||65||237|
|Falkland Islands||British overseas territory||2,900||1993–||1||7||11||19|
|Faroe Islands|| Autonomous country of the
Kingdom of Denmark
|Frøya||Norwegian municipality island||4,300||1985–||1||1||2||4|
|Gibraltar||British overseas territory||30,000||1987–||53||58||88||199|
|Greenland|| Autonomous country
within the Kingdom of Denmark
|Guernsey||Part of a British crown dependency||65,800||1985–||382||392||429||1,203|
|Hitra||Norwegian municipality island||4,250||1985–1989, 1997–||3||5||5||13|
|Isle of Man||British crown dependency||84,500||1985–||413||396||407||1,216|
|Isle of Wight||English county||138,400||1985–||167||166||197||530|
|Jersey||British crown dependency||105,500||1985–||491||491||444||1,426|
|Orkney Islands||Scottish council area||21,300||1985–||20||37||41||98|
|Rhodes||Greek island - a separate municipality||115,500||1999–2011, 2015||51||44||43||138|
|Saaremaa||Estonian island - county||31,000||1991–||77||86||77||238|
|Saint Helena||British overseas territory||4,250||1985–1987, 1997–||1||2||3||6|
|Sark||Part of a British crown dependency||600||1987–2011, 2015–||3||9||8||20|
|Shetland Islands||Scottish council area||23,200||1985–||48||68||93||209|
| Western Isles
Na h-Eileanan an Iar
|Scottish council area||27,400||2005–||17||13||22||49|
|Ynys Môn||Welsh council area||69,700||1985–||27||33||46||106|
|Prince Edward Island||Province of Canada||140,000||1991–2007||6||6||9||21|
Islands marked in grey are no longer members of the IIGA and so cannot compete at the Island Games.
Of the 24 current IIGA members, two (Bermuda and the Cayman Islands) have competed in their own right at the Olympic Games. Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, and Jersey have each sent teams to the Commonwealth Games.
The host country chooses between 12 and 14 different sports for their games from this list:
Outdoor, or Ten Pin*)
|Sailing (may include
|Volleyball (may include
Notably, the Island Games' football tournament is one of the most well-established tournaments of non-FIFA international football.
Islanders who have gone on to participate in Olympic Games events include:
The XVIII Island Games (also known as the 2019 NatWest Island Games for sponsorship reasons) was held in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar between 6 and 12 July 2019. This was the second time that the territory has hosted the games, the first being in 1995.
Controversially, the games did not include archery, cycling, football, or volleyball, which have been in all previous games since 1985, due to the lack of venues, instead they were replaced by tenpin bowling, judo, and squash. Gibraltar's sports facilities were greatly redeveloped throughout 2018. Cycling was subsequently included on the list of events on the Games official website, while the 2019 Inter Games Football Tournament was announced as a substitute for the lack of football.Badminton at the Island Games
Badminton, a racquet event, has been held at the Island Games, a biennial multi-sports event for island nations, territories and dependencies.
Badminton has been included since 1985. It was not held at the 2007 Island Games.
There are limits on the number of teams and competitors that each Island can enter. The minimum age is 13.Comoros national football team
The Comoros national football team is the national football team of Comoros, which is controlled by the Comoros Football Federation. It was formed in 1979, joined the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in 2003, and became a FIFA member in 2005.Falkland Islands official football team
The Falkland Islands official football team is a representative football team of the Falkland Islands, organised by the Falkland Islands Football League. The Falkland Islands Football League does not belong to the CONMEBOL, as its member countries support Argentina in the sovereignty conflict, and therefore neither can be a member of FIFA. Thus, the team is not eligible to play in official competitions such as the World Cup and the Copa América. The team has played in the Island Games in 2001, 2005, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017. In 2013 the team enjoyed a record win and a 3rd place medal.
After two years with no League football it was decided that the Falkland Islands Football League (FIFL) would be completely revamped, a Constitution was drawn up and Committee members were put forward and accepted. After the Constitution was passed by interested players, a new league was organised with four teams, with players being picked by each of the team's captains. On 9 November the opening league fixtures were played.
At the same time, the Falkland Islands National team appointed manager Jimmy Curtis to lead the team at the 2009 Island Games in Åland. A squad of over 23 players was picked and training began in September 2008. The long distance needed to travel, the expensive cost to travel on RAF and LAN flights and the need to take between 16–18 players usually prevents the Football team from attending the Island Games more often than every four years. Due to the remoteness of the islands and the small population, the Stanley team can only play military teams or visiting warships.
The Falkland Islands football team most recently competed at the NatWest Island Games in 2017, held between 24 and 30 June in Gotland. This was the seventh time the Falkland Islands have competed in the Island Games. They were drawn in Group D with the Isle of Man, Ynys Môn and Hitra. After losing all 3 group matches they played Alderney in the 15th place play off, losing 0–3.Football at the Indian Ocean Island Games
The association football tournament at the Indian Ocean Island Games (French: Jeux des îles de l'océan Indien) which is organised every 4 years for the Islands in the Indian Ocean. (The Maldives have occasionally been invited)
From 1947 until 1963 a precursor called Triangulaire was organized between Madagascar, Mauritius and Réunion Island. The first official edition of Indian Ocean Island Games was held in 1979.
The competition has been won by its host country on seven of the nine occasions it has been held.Football at the Island Games
Football has been a regular event since 1989 at the Island Games, the biennial multi-sports event for island nations, territories and dependencies. A 5-a-side competition for under-16s was held at the inaugural event on the Isle of Man, and the success this minor competition brought to the games meant senior men's football was included on the itinerary for the first time in the Faroe Islands, in 1989. Women's football was included on the games' schedule for the first time in 2001.
Over the years, the competition has grown in stature, becoming one of the most important competitions for 'national' teams in non-FIFA football, and has grown from a five-team round robin competition to a 16-team tournament. Football will not be included in the 2019 Island Games as hosts Gibraltar do not have enough pitches. As a replacement the 2019 Inter Games Football Tournament will be held in Anglesey, although it will not officially be part of the games.Gibraltar national basketball team
The Gibraltarian national basketball team are the representative team for the British overseas territory of Gibraltar in basketball. The team is selected by the Gibraltar Amateur Basketball Association (GABBA) which is a member of FIBA Europe since 1985 and competes in FIBA European Championship for Small Countries and in the Island Games.Golf at the Island Games
Golf at the Island Games, the biennial multi-sports event for island nations, territories and dependencies, was first played in 1991 with the Ladies competitions starting in 1997. It has now become a regular sport in the Island Games.
Men – a maximum of 4 amateur competitors per Member Island
Ladies – a maximum of 4 amateur competitors per Member IslandTeam events
Men – a maximum of 4 amateur competitors and a minimum of 3 amateur competitors per Member Island.
Ladies – a maximum of 4 amateur competitors and a minimum of 3 amateur competitors per Member IslandMinimum age – 13Indian Ocean Island Games
The Indian Ocean Island Games (French: Jeux des îles de l'océan Indien) is a multi-sport event held every four years among athletes from Indian Ocean island nations. The Games was created by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1977 and currently gather the island nations and territories of Mauritius, Seychelles, Comoros, Madagascar, Mayotte, Réunion and the Maldives. The number of athletes who participate has increased over the years, it went from 1000 athletes in 1979 to over 1500 participants in 2003 and 2007.International Island Games Association
The International Island Games Association (IIGA) is an organisation the sole purpose of which is to organise the Island Games, a friendly biennial multi-sport competition between teams from several European islands and other small territories. The IIGA liaises with the member island associations and with sponsors of the games. It investigates whether islands wanting to join fit the membership criteria.
The history of the Island Games and games results can be found at the Island Games page.List of Gibraltarian records in athletics
The following are the national records in athletics in Gibraltar maintained by the Gibraltar Amateur Athletics Association (GAAA).Mayotte national football team
The Mayotte national football team represents the French overseas department and region of Mayotte in international football.
Mayotte is a member of neither FIFA nor CAF, so it is not eligible to enter the World Cup or the African Cup of Nations. Till 2007, Mayotte had played two friendly matches against the French overseas island of Réunion and three against Madagascar.
In 2007, the team competed for the first time in the Indian Ocean Games, finishing in third position after losing against Madagascar in the semi-final and beating Mauritius in the third-place playoff after a penalty-shootout.
In 2012, the team in Coupe de l'Outre-Mer Beat Tahiti champions of OFC Nations Cup 3-1. also beat New Caledonia champions of Pacific Games and Runners-Up of OFC Nations Cup 2-0.Non-FIFA international football
FIFA is the international governing body of association football, overseeing football globally and with running international representative matches. However, some international football takes place outside its ratification. This often consists of matches involving sub-national entities such as islands, colonies or autonomous regions. Representative matches also occur involving states with limited international recognition who are unable to qualify for FIFA membership. There are also a limited number of states whose representative teams are not affiliated to FIFA. Historically, a number of competitions occurred outside FIFA's auspices.Orkney representative football team
The Orkney football team is the representative football team for the islands of Orkney, Scotland. They are not affiliated with FIFA or UEFA. The team regularly competes in the Island Games and has a strong rivalry with the representative teams of Shetland and Caithness.This team should not be confused with Orkney F.C. which competes in the North Caledonian League.Seychelles national football team
The Seychelles national football team is controlled by the Seychelles Football Federation (SFF). SFF is a member of the Confederation of African Football (CAF). The home turf of the team is the 10,000 capacity stadium, Stade Linité situated at Roche Caiman in the outskirts of Victoria, the capital of Seychelles.Shetland football team
The Shetland Football Team represents the islands of Shetland, Scotland, in association football. It is not a member of FIFA or UEFA and is therefore not eligible to enter the World Cup or the European Championships. The team regularly competes in the Island Games, which it won in 2005, and has a strong rivalry with the representative team of Orkney.
This representative team should not be confused with Shetland FC, which was formed as a separate entity to compete during the mainland's winter season cup competitions - despite being separate entities, the teams share management staff and squad of players.Sport in Guernsey
Guernsey participates in its own right in the Commonwealth Games.
Guernsey participates in the bi-annual Island Games, which it hosted in 1987 and 2003. In sporting events in which Guernsey does not have international representation, when the British Home Nations are competing separately, islanders that do have high athletic skill may choose to compete for any of the Home Nations – there are, however, restrictions on subsequent transfers to represent another Home Nation. The football player Matt Le Tissier for example, tried out for the Scotland national football team but ended up playing for England.
Major individual sports include athletics, shooting, swimming, football and fencing. Guernsey's home football team, Guernsey F.C. competes in the Isthmian League Division One South and Guernsey has received a number of Commonwealth games medals for shooting. Fencing is a sport that is rapidly increasing in popularity with GB fencers such as Fraser Ward originating from the island.
Sport in Guernsey is governed by the Guernsey Sports Commission with another association, Sport Guernsey developing elite athletes.
The island's sporting county is Hampshire.
The island's traditional colour (e.g. for sporting events) is green.Tennis at the 2011 Island Games
Tennis at the 2011 Island Games was held from 26 June–1 July 2011 at the Ryde Lawn Tennis Club and Ryde Mead Tennis Club.Western Isles representative football team
The Western Isles representative team is the representative football team for the Western Isles, Scotland. They are not affiliated with FIFA or UEFA. Most players selected either play in the Lewis and Harris Football League or the Uist & Barra Football League. The team has participated in several Island Games tournaments since 2005.