Jersey to bid to host 2035 Island Games

Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (37862322)

HOSTING the NatWest Island Games in 2035 could help boost investment in sporting facilities across Jersey, the Infrastructure Minister has said.

Constable Andy Jehan, who has political responsibility for sport, confirmed that a bid document would be submitted to the International Island Games Association.

The biennial multi-sports competition, which attracts thousands of visiting athletes and support staff from across the globe, was last held in the Island in 2015.

“We are working hard in the background to get the bid granted,” said Mr Jehan.

The Infrastructure Minister, who was the head of logistics when Jersey hosted the 2015 Games, acknowledged the potential challenges related to a lack of sporting facilities and accommodation in the Island.

Although several hotels have been demolished and turned into housing since then, Mr Jehan said he was “confident” that the Island would be able to accommodate visitors.

He said that attendees would be able to stay in the planned 103-room aparthotel at the Les Sablons development, and that he hoped “other developments will gain planning permission” over the next ten years.

The minister also highlighted the need for substantial investment, possibly tens of millions of pounds, to meet infrastructure demands – which he said would have far-reaching economic, social, community and sporting benefits. When Jersey hosted the Island Games in 2015, an estimated 4,000 visitors came to the Island and injected £3.8 million into the economy.

Mr Jehan said hosting the 2035 Games would spur investment into sports facilities, such as Fort Regent.

He said: “The main benefit of hosting the Island Games would be enhanced sports facilitates for the Island, as we saw in 2015.

“It would ensure a spade in the ground and a commitment to delivering much-needed improvements to sporting facilities.”

He added that Oakfield Sports Centre, which schools, clubs and associations use, had already received £8.3m of investment.

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