4th July 2003
Guernsey hosted the Island Games 2003 closing ceremony
Guernsey hosted the 2003 Island Games at Footes Lane. The Games were opened on 28 June by Charles, Prince of Wales, after the athletes had paraded through Town. They came to an end on 4 July.
In all, 23 countries competed across 16 sports, with Guernsey topping the medals table. It took home (or should that be “retained”) 55 gold and 38 bronze medals – more than any other island. It won 35 silver medals, which was beaten by Jersey’s 43. In total, this gave Guernsey 128 medals, compared to second-place Jersey’s 115. It was the first time Guernsey had ever come first.
The event was sponsored by Nat West bank and the Games’ mascott was, appropriately enough, Daniel the Donkey (the Donkey being Guernsey’s national animal).
The Island Games
The Island Games take place every two years and welcome participants aged 13 and above. The first event took place in 1985 on the Isle of Man and hosted 700 participants. The 2003 Games, hosted by Guernsey, were competed by more than 3000 athletes.
Guernsey also hosted the second ever Island Games, in 1987. On that occasion, 18 different islands took part, with the States of Guernsey subsidising the event to the tune of £25,000, as well as making all States-owned sporting facilities available at no cost.
Nine sports were competed by just over 1000 participants and the event opened on Friday, 10 September. On that occasion, the Isle of Man topped the medals table, with 79 gongs. Jersey and Guernsey came second and third with 71 and 64 medals respectively. Again, Alderney went home empty-handed.
Guernsey was selected as the host of the 2021 Island Games, and it appointed Dame Mary Perkins, of Specsavers, as its organising committee chair.