Anglesey: Hosting Island Games 'golden opportunity' – organisers – BBC

As Anglesey prepares to host the "Olympic games for islands" in 2027, organisers have said they are confident of success.
Ynys Môn's attempts to host the Island Games had been unsuccessful until now.
A lack of facilities and money had been stumbling blocks, but bosses are keen to help smaller islands host the event.
"A lot of the sports we'll be selecting are sports we'll be able to host outside" said the chair of Anglesey's organising committee, Gareth Parry.
There was disappointment on the island when Åland, an autonomous region of Finland, won the race to stage the games in 2009.
In 2015, Anglesey pulled out of the race to host the games when the council blamed a lack of money to develop a six-lane swimming pool.
"There is no money to develop facilities.
"We are lucky that Coleg Menai has invested quite a lot in a new sports hall in Llangefni and we are working closely with them in terms of using that for the games," said Mr Parry.
"But we're lucky with the environment. We have the flexibility to pick which sports we want to put on here, there are no core sports we have to put on.
Among the 14 sports the event will host are diving, football, triathlon and sailing.
"We're aware of what we have and it is a matter of choosing what suits us."
Established in 1985 to foster friendship between islands across the world, the games have grown significantly since the first one on the Isle of Man.
In 1985 there were 15 islands competing in seven sports. At the 2019 games held in Gibraltar, there were 24 islands competing across 14 sports.
However, Gibraltar's decision to axe the football competition due to a lack of resources left the door open for Anglesey to prove it could host hundreds of athletes.
In June 2019, 16 men's teams and six women's teams were welcomed as Anglesey hosted an unofficial football tournament alongside the games.
The tournament was a success, with over 14,000 people turning out to watch the games.
A crowd of over 3,000 watched the island's men's team beat Guernsey to take gold and the women's team won silver, losing to the Isle of Man in the final.
According to Mr Parry, the success of that competition helped persuade the International Island Games Association to let them host the games in 2027.
Mr Parry, who has also competed in the island games, told Cymru Fyw: "We'll be spending a lot of time in Guernsey… , working closely with them and Orkney [who are hosting the games in 2025]. I'd love to learn from someone who has already done it.
"Some call them the mini Olympics, it's a good standard.
"We're looking at around 4,000 athletes coming over from around 25 islands across the world. it's quite a show.
"One of the main reasons to hold it here is for the people of the island to see exactly how big the games are and how lucky we are to be able to take part in something of this kind," he said.
The games are expected to benefit the island's economy to the tune of around £5m, but there is also hope of long-term benefits.
"Anglesey Council has agreed to underwrite the costs of hosting the games," said the deputy leader of the local authority, Carwyn Jones, who also sits on the games committee.
"There's a lot of commitment but also a lot of excitement about what we can create here.
"It is going to be a significant sporting event of national importance for Wales, the biggest multi-sport event since the Commonwealth Games in 1958.
"We really hope to carry on with the football team's ethos of carrying brand Wales all over the world."
Mr Jones said over £2m has been invested in leisure facilities on the island, on 3G football pitches and squash and tennis courts.
"It's a golden opportunity and a huge economic boost.
"Almost every spare bed on the island will be taken up by the teams or supporters, so in terms of the hospitality sector there will be significant spending.
"We think it will be a huge boost and hope of creating prosperity for local people and also long term friends coming back here to Anglesey too."
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