Orkney will host the 2023 Island Games after all 24 member islands of the International Games Association voted unanimously to award them the event.
The bid committee made its successful presentation to the association’s AGM in Gibraltar at the weekend.
The Games will return to Scotland for the first time since Shetland hosted the event in 2005.
Jörgen Pettersson, chairman of the International Island Games Association (IIGA), said: “Congratulations to Orkney, one of our founding member islands.
“Ever since the start of the IIGA in 1985 Orkney has enthusiastically taken part in the NatWest International Island Games. Orkney will be the twelfth host island of the Games that brings islands and islanders together in friendly competition.”
Congratulations, Orkney, the Host Island of the 2023 Island Games! pic.twitter.com/977Dbdff21
— IslandGamesAssoci (@IslandGamesAsso) July 7, 2018
Liam McArthur MSP, the Orkney 2023 bid chairman, said: “I’m delighted. This is a fantastic achievement and I am confident that Orkney will put on a high quality Games to remember in five years’ time.
“Community involvement will remain critical as the hard work now begins in earnest. Orkney has all the attributes to be the perfect host for these Games.”
The event is expected to attract up to 2,000 visitors to the islands, as well as providing a number of job opportunities for locals, including up to three full-time positions available as part of the event’s organising team.
Congrats to our friends and neighbours in #Orkney on winning the bid to host the #IslandGames in July 2023. An impressive presentation and good detail in their plans for #Orkney2023. Well done guys! 👏🏻 #theroadtoKirkwall #teamshetland pic.twitter.com/eWH2CXhUOV
— Shetland IGA (@TeamShetland) July 7, 2018
The Scottish Government provided £500,00 towards delivery of the Games, and culture and tourism minister Fiona Hyslop, said: “Hosting the 2023 Island Games is a fantastic opportunity for Orkney and the whole of Scotland to deliver another memorable, world-class multi-sport event, while enabling local and international audiences to experience what our diverse country has to offer.
“While further promoting Scotland as a perfect stage for international events, the Games will also contribute to boosting the local economy, promoting job opportunities and creating a lasting sporting legacy for the islands.”
Orkney Islands Council convener Harvey Johnston said: “Orkney’s hosting of the Games in five years’ time offers a wealth of opportunities for our island communities whether that be our sporting stars or our accommodation and hospitality providers. Orcadians are passionate about sporting competition and the Island Games – we’ve been a permanent presence at the Games since they began and it’s been a long term aspiration to bring the games here.
“Our friendly, hard-working and determined community were placed right at the heart of the bid and they will be crucial to the success of the Games.”
BY UNANIMOUS VOTE, THE INTERNATIONAL ISLAND GAMES ARE COMING TO ORKNEY!!!!BRING ON 2023!
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s director of events, said: “Events play a vital role in our visitor economy and EventScotland is committed to supporting the delivery of a diverse portfolio of events that not only showcase Scotland as the perfect stage for events but also bring strong economic and social benefits to all regions across the country.
“The Island Games will certainly do this for Orkney and we look forward to continuing to work in partnership with everyone as our focus now turns to bringing the island communities together in 2023 and delivering the best Island Games ever.”