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Article published 17/07/2023

Preparations for the Orkney 2025 International Island Games are now in full swing. The games were officially handed over to Orkney by the 2023 hosts Guernsey.  

The International Island Games Association chairman, Jorgen Pettersson handed over the games flag to the chairman of the Orkney 2025 committee, Gordon Deans. The handover took place at the closing ceremony in Guernsey on Friday 14 July.  

The flag is now on its way to Orkney. The next time it will be raised will be at the opening ceremony in Kirkwall on the evening of 12 July 2025.  

Gordon said that it was an important milestone in the build up to the Orkney games in two years’ time.

Logo showing stick people in various sporting poses and the words Orkney 2025

Orkney 2025 International Island Games logo.

From this moment the spotlight will be on us as we are now the official host of the International Island Games. We know that people here will embrace the event and show the other islands a really warm Orcadian welcome.

We now have two years of hard work ahead of us, but the effort will be worthwhile.

Gordon Deans, chairman of the Orkney 2025 committee

Orkney’s successfully bid for the games at the International Island Games Association AGM in 2018.  

Since then, work has been going on to recruit team leaders for all aspects of delivering the event. Kirsty Talbot was appointed Games Director in 2022. Jo Henry joined as her deputy this year.  

The bid for the games was made possible with support from Orkney Islands Council and the Scottish Government through EventScotland.

Handover of the Island Games flag to Gordon Deans, chair of the organising committee

Events like the Island Games bring people together for an incredible experience as I saw first-hand myself in Guernsey. Competing means a lot to the athletes, their families and the wider community. The games also help to forge friendships between people from different islands and cultures through sport.

Orkney 2025 is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the best of Orkney internationally: its people, produce and stunning scenery. The Scottish Government is proud to support what will undoubtedly be the major sporting event of the 2025 summer. I know the islands will deliver an exciting event with community involvement.

Culture Minister Christina McKelvie

Our Orkney sporting stars and their travelling support have had the most incredible time this week in Guernsey – but for us the excitement does not end there.

The curtain coming down on the 2023 games fires the starting pistol for the official run up to the 2025 games. The Orkney 2025 team has been hard at work for some time now on preparations – and that hard work will only increase as the games get closer.

Orkney Islands Council is proud to be a core funder for the event and we’re looking forward to working with the team on the delivery of a fantastic event in two years time.

Councillor Graham Bevan, Convener of Orkney Islands Council

The event will see teams from 24 member islands compete against each other in 13 sports:

  • Athletics
  • Archery
  • Badminton
  • Bowls
  • Clay shooting
  • Cycling
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Sailing
  • Squash
  • Swimming
  • Triathlon

Around 2,500 competitors are expected to travel to Orkney in 2025. This would make it the biggest sporting event in Europe that year. 

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