Island Games

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The International Island Games Association (IGA) is an organisation whose purpose is to organise the Island Games, a friendly biennial athletic competition between teams from several European islands and other small territories.

History

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 and 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 a synthetic track in a stadium capable of holding 10,000 spectators. So successful were the Games of 1985 that it was decided to hold a similar event two years later.

Members

The IGA was founded in the Isle of Man in 1985. Constituents come from islands in, or associated with, nine sovereign states (Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom).

Current members of the IGA are:

Åland Alderney Anglesey Bermuda Cayman Islands
Falkland Islands Faroe Islands Frøya Gibraltar Gotland
Greenland Guernsey Hitra Isle of Man Isle of Wight
Jersey Minorca Orkney Islands Prince Edward Island Rhodes
Saaremaa Saint Helena Sark Shetland Islands Western Isles

Gibraltar is the only member of the IGA that is not an island or group of islands as it is a peninsula of Iberia, sharing a land border with Spain. Anglesey, Hitra, and Prince Edward Island have bridge or tunnel connections to their mainland. Greenland is by far the largest island, and is bigger than all the rest combined, but very sparsely populated.

Game venues

Year Games Host Island Country
1985 I Isle of Man British crown dependency
1987 II Guernsey British crown dependency
1989 III Faroe Islands Danish autonomous province
1991 IV Åland Finnish autonomous province
1993 V Isle of Wight English county
1995 VI Gibraltar British overseas territory
1997 VII Jersey British crown dependency
1999 VIII Gotland Swedish county
2001 IX Isle of Man British crown dependency
2003 X Guernsey British crown dependency
2005 XI Shetland Scottish county
2007 XII Rhodes Greek island
2009 XIII Åland Finnish autonomous province
2011 XIV Isle of Wight English county
2013 XV Bermuda British overseas territory
2015 XVI Jersey British crown dependency

Sports

The host country chooses between 12 and 14 different sports for their games from this list:

Archery Athletics Badminton Basketball Bowls Cycling
Football Golf Gymnastics Judo Sailing Shooting
Squash Swimming Table Tennis Tennis Triathlon Volleyball

Medals table

Including medals won in the 2009 edition

Island Games medal count
Pos Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Jersey 396 377 357 1130
2 Isle of Man 317 311 333 961
3 Guernsey 294 308 338 940
4 Gotland 199 161 149 509
5 Faroe Islands 142 135 168 445
6 Åland 139 153 121 413
7 Isle of Wight} 133 123 161 417
8 Cayman Islands} 57 37 41 135
9 Saaremaa 56 67 64 187
10 Bermuda 53 49 54 156
11 Iceland 50 45 41 136
12 Rhodes 50 42 42 134
13 Gibraltar 38 43 69 150
14 Shetland Islands 30 48 77 155
15 Minorca 20 17 21 58
16 Orkney 18 29 36 83
17 Anglesey 17 28 38 83
18 Greenland 15 18 25 58
19 Prince Edward Island 6 6 9 21
20 Malta 6 2 2 10
21 Western Isles 2 4 11 17
22 Sark 1 7 5 13
23 Falkland Islands 1 5 11 17
24 Hitra 1 2 0 3
25 Frøya 1 1 2 4
26 Alderney 0 2 3 5
27 Saint Helena 0 0 2 2

From 2001, competitors from islands with a population of less than 10,000 (Alderney, Falklands, Frøya, Hitra, St. Helena and Sark), also compete for Gold, Silver and Bronze 'Small Island Certificates', with restrictions that Silver is only awarded if at least 3 compete, and Bronze only if at least 4 compete.

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