Isle of Man not in running to step in and host 2019 Island Games

The opening ceremony of the 2015 Island Games in Jersey. More than 3,000 bed spaces are needed to accomodate the athletes and officials from 24 islands. Picture: Dave Norton

The opening ceremony of the 2015 Island Games in Jersey. More than 3,000 bed spaces are needed to accomodate the athletes and officials from 24 islands. Picture: Dave Norton

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The Isle of Man is not in the running to host the 2019 Island Games.

It was announced during last week’s games, held in Jersey, that Menorca, the selected venue for the next-but-one edition in 2019, have pulled out.

Despite speculation that the Isle of Man might step into the breach, an initial offer has been made to another unnamed island.

According to Gary Jakeman, chairman of the Isle of Man Island Games Association, the mystery venue has been given three months to decide whether they can put together the 2019 edition by the International Island Games Association (IIGA).

‘When we heard that Menorca were unable to host the games we did have an informal meeting with the IIGA about finding a new venue,’ Mr Jakeman said. ‘They did pursue it with one island - I’m unable to name it - and have asked them to formulate a plan to host the 2019 games. It is in that island’s court at the moment.

The choice of host venues is no longer decided by competitive tender - the practice was discontinued as it was proving too expensive for the respective islands to prepare their bids.

Instead would-be venues declare their interest to the IIGA, who then invite selected candidates to prepare bids.

According to Mr Jakeman the IIGA should know ‘in three or four months time’ whether the chosen island is in a position to offer a bid.

‘We’ve agreed that until this island comes forward with a bid saying yes or no, we’ll leave them to it,’ he said.

In a statement the IIGA said: ‘The 24 member islands were informed that Menorca, following a mutual agreement between the Menorca Island Games Association and the IIGA Executive Committee, will not be hosting the NatWest Island Games 2019. A new host island for 2019 will be announced later this year.’

The IIGA added that several member islands, including the Isle of Man, have declared an interest in hosting an edition of the games from 2021.

The next edition of the games will take place in Gotland in 2017.

This will be the second time the Swedish island in the Baltic Sea has hosted the games, having previously done so in 1999.

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