The biennial event, which is hosted by the Guernsey Sports Commission and Specsavers, saw more than 550 children from years 5 and 6 take part last month making it one of the most successful years to date.
Work is underway to refurbish and improve the track at Footes Lane and designs for a new football stadium at Victoria Avenue were approved earlier this year, meaning those taking part in the next youth games will be able to try out the new facilities ahead of the 2021 NatWest Island Games.
Dame Mary Perkins, who is also the chair of the Guernsey Games Organising Committee, said: ‘2021 is a very exciting year for Guernsey being the host island of the games, so we are delighted to continue our support of the youth games and we hope the event will inspire a new generation of Island Games competitors'.
‘The atmosphere at this year’s youth games was electric and the smiles on the children’s faces made me realise what this event is all about – encouraging and nurturing sport among our young people in Guernsey, building their confidence, having fun and a chance for them to make new friends.’
Since the first Specsavers Youth Games in 2005, the event has hosted more than 3,000 children. They are given opportunity to establish new friendships, build their confidence and improve social and life skills, while getting free access to a new sport. The aim of the Games is to promote the value of sport to young people with the emphasis on fun and fair play.
In order to learn as much as possible about each sport, coaching sessions take place in the six weeks before the games themselves. New sports which haven’t previously been a part of the games, included judo, petanque and softball. New sports will be approached again ahead of the next games. The sessions enable children to learn new skills, which are put to the test on Games Day, culminating in a closing ceremony.
The principal aim of the Specsavers Guernsey Youth Games is to promote the value of sport to island children and the emphasis is on fun, fair play and creating a festival atmosphere. The Games will provide an opportunity for children to take part in a large-scale event, to meet new friends, build confidence and enjoy a positive sporting experience.
Any child in school years 5 or 6 can take part in the Games. Participants will represent the district in which they live and everyone who takes part will receive a medal and a team shirt. A trophy will be presented at the closing ceremony to the district that has accumulated the most points across all the sports and a Fair Play Trophy will be presented to the district that receives the most Fair Play nominations from the coordinators and officials.
The children will be asked to try a sport in which they do not normally participate. They will be given an opportunity to learn as much as possible about their chosen sport at coaching sessions in the month before the Games. These sessions will enable children to learn new skills which will be put to the test on Games Day, culminating in the closing ceremony at the Garenne Stand at Footes Lane.