That last Winter Olympic games had record low viewership across the board. This can be attributed to many reasons, but foremost is the limited selection of games that are viewed a ‘legitimate’. Furthermore, the entire organization of Olympic games tends to have stringent and stifling structure, all of which doesn’t go well with the whole ‘games’ bit. Other organizations saw this coming a long time ago, so the NatWest International Island Games were born in 1985, bringing together over 2,000 competitors from the smallest islands in the world. Although not widely known, the winners in history of these games are highly respected on member islands.
Rise Of Popularity
Natwest Island Games started on the Isle of Man, known for its sturdy medieval castles and rural landscape, and over the years they included representatives from 15 other islands – from Orkney Islands near Scotland, the Falkland Islands, Cayman Islands in the Caribbean, to the St Helena island off the coast of Africa. Every part of the globe is represented. Island life tends to be insular and non-eventful, so it is no surprise the Island Games became so popular, eventually even dubbed as mini Olympics. There are already over three decades of winners in history of the games.
Moreover, island communities have rare opportunities to be represented in any mainstream sporting events. After all, who thinks about tiny island nations in their daily life? Therefore, uniting island nations across the globe in a big sporting event every two years seemed like a natural thing to do. It brought excitement, fun, and something to strive for.
Strengthening The Island Communities
Natwest International Island Games washed all the included islands with an invigorating wave of competition and capital. Many new sports clubs opened in order to offer proper training, and numerous business ventures sprung up in order to supply these clubs with proper equipment. Not to mention the increased tourist income and positive mental and physical effects on the young people. The overall outcome of Natwest Island Games turned out to be hugely beneficial in every sense of the word.
The Isle of Man was the originating point of Natwest Island Games, so it is not surprising when it won the most medals. In the last competition, the Isle of Man managed to win 39 gold, 36 silver, and 26 bronze medals. Following close were Faroe Islands, before Jersey, Guersney, and Gotland islands, all winning above 20 gold medals per island. The sporting events included golf, archery, shooting, triathlon, beach volleyball, cycling, swimming, athletics, table tennis, and many others. More than enough of a selection for everyone to enjoy participating, watching, and cheering.
Island Life Doesn’t Have To Be Dull
Looking back, it is now safe to say that the biggest winners in history of the Natwest International Island Games are the islands themselves. Invigorating them with renewed purpose and tourist income, opening up new opportunities, focusing young people to stay on the right path of self-improvement, and bringing the attention of the world to these tiny island nations, the Island Games accomplished more in less than three decades than any government program could even dream of.