Amidst all the misery being caused to Welsh sport by COVID-19 comes some good news at last for the Isle of Anglesey.
Ynys Môn has won the right to host the International Island Games for the first time – the only question now is when it will happen.
Anglesey will welcome thousands of athletes and spectators after the International Island Games Association member islands voted overwhelmingly in favour of bringing one of the world’s biggest sporting events to Môn.
The North Wales island originally bid to host the biannual event in 2025, but a date now depends on the rescheduling of Guernsey’s 2021 games due to Covid-19.
Dubbed a mini-Olympics for the small islands of the world, the International Island Games is one of the largest multi-sport events in existence, and up to 24 nations or islands from across the globe will descend on north-west Wales to take part.
Ynys Môn hosted Inter-Island Games Football and Gymnastic competitions in 2019 and 2015 respectively to significant local and international acclaim.
This greatly aided the strong bid put forward by the island to host the full Games.
Originally bidding to stage the event in 2025, Ynys Môn’s turn will now depend on the rescheduling of Guernsey’s hosting of the Games, set to take place next summer, but now postponed due to the current global pandemic.
Discussions between the International Island Games Association, Guernsey and current 2023 hosts Orkney will take place in the near future before a decision is reached on when those Games will now take place – and what effect that has on Ynys Môn’s schedule.
Ynys Môn’s bid committee chair Gareth Parry said: “This is an historic moment for our island and the result of a tremendous amount of work by so many stakeholders, not just from Ynys Môn, but further afield as well.
“There’s a lot more work to be done, but we’re very excited for the challenge and to bring an amazing event to Ynys Mon in the future.
“Our bid committee is extremely grateful for the support we’ve received so far, most notably from Welsh Government and Isle of Anglesey County Council, as well as the many other stakeholders who have committed support to bringing the Games to life.
“We look forward to working with them all in future to host a truly transformative event for the island and wider region.
“We have shown with our hosting of the Inter Games gymnastics and football competitions in recent years the unrivalled passion for sport on the island, and the potential we have to host major events.
“Our aim now is to ensure that the Games help to transform current and future leisure provision on the island as well as bringing a much-needed boost to the tourism sector.
“The hard work starts now to make sure the event is an unprecedented success, and one that leaves a legacy for our young people in future.”