Latest News (July 2000)

Prince Charles switches on the Games Countdown clock
Taking advantage of Prince Charles' visit to the Isle of Man to preside at the annual Tynwald Day ceremony on July 5th the organising committee managed to arrange for HRH to unveil our Games Countdown Clock at Ronaldsway Airport just before his departure. Sports Co-ordinators, athletes, politicians, and members of the committee gathered at the airport to talk to the Prince and to see him carry out the launch in style. Other Countdown Clocks are set up at the Sea Terminal and on the main shopping street in Douglas. A clear indication that the 2001 Games are now less than a year away!

Preview visit of IIGA Executive and representatives of member islands
We've just enjoyed a hectic but invaluable week entertaining some 40 guests from member islands far and wide. The week was blessed by some excellent sunny weather (just what we want for next July!) and our visitors took the opportunity to tour the island, visiting the venues for the 15 sports, checking facilities, firming up arrangements for accommodation and transport and meeting our sports co-ordinators and members of the organising committee.

The one hiccup of the week was when the coach taking the party of IIGA representatives around the venues became wedged at the tight S-bend leading down to the clay pigeon shooting venue at Blue Point. It was stuck for nearly 2 hours before being towed out by a tractor!

AGM of the International Island Games Association
The IIGA annual general meeting held on July 16th was attended by over 40 delegates representing 15 of the member islands. This was a record attendance for an AGM in a non-Games year and was the result of an invitation to the islands from the Isle of Man's 2001 NatWest Island Games organising committee.

After the meeting informal discussions were held in groups about the number and nature of sports to be included in future Games. Alan Cross, IIGA Chairman, said, 'The IGA is very conscious that the increasing popularity of the Games - the projected number of competitors for 2001 stands at 2,500 - puts increasing pressure, both practical and financial, on islands who wish to host the event. We are concerned that the Games do not grow so large that it would preclude some of the smaller islands from hosting the Games in the future. The concept of the 'Friendly Games' is one that we do not want to lose'.

IGA Website launched
During the week the IGA launched their website, which gives information about the role of the IGA, the history of the Games etc. It also gives details of the NatWest Island Games Coaching Fund and it is of course linked to our website.

Shetlands to bid for 2005 Games
Delegates learned that Shetland has notified the IGA of their intention to bid to host the NatWest Games in 2005. This will be voted on at the next AGM here in the Isle of Man next July.

'Great Facilities for 2001 Games' (Alan Cross)
'The sporting facilities in the Isle of Man will be the envy of many other member islands' said IIGA Chairman, Alan Cross 'The National Sports Centre will be the focus of the Games and has a superb range of facilities. I am sure this will encourage a high standard of competition as well as creating a friendly and welcoming atmosphere for competitors and spectators alike'.

John Christal (2001 Results Co-ordinator)

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