Sport had a triumphant return in Guernsey at the weekend as the island moved into Phase 4 of its exit from lockdown strategy.
The message that competitive sport had resumed in Guernsey was celebrated far beyond our shores.
National news outlets praised the island for being the first place in the British Isles to be Covid-free and promoted how local sporting organisations were marking the occasion with a return to competition.
Cricket took the main headlines as a T20 match at KGV on Saturday was livestreamed by Guernsey Cricket in partnership with the European Cricket Network
The match has now received almost 100,000 views from around the world. It has also been covered by BBC Sport, ITV, and a host of cricket websites. Top English cricketers including Stuart Broad and Michael Vaughn have also shared footage from the match to their significant fan bases.
The livestream was set up with four cameras, including one manned camera, which meant that access to the action could be extended way beyond what was possible within the ground and the current government restrictions.
Cricket fans from on and off-island were then able to get their fix of live sport after being starved of it for many months.
‘It’s always good to be involved with a project that presents Guernsey in a positive way to a large international audience,’ said Warren Mauger from Spike Productions who streamed the match.
‘I believe sport has the potential to act as an ambassador for the island and help promote Guernsey far and wide. Sport is a great way of bringing people of different cultures and backgrounds together, and if we can put Guernsey at the centre of this it can only be positive for the island’s sport and visitor economies.’
But cricket wasn’t the only sport back to competition at the weekend. The Guernsey Velo Club took the honour of being the first sport on the island to get back to live competition with an early morning start for the first of two 10k time trials on the Cobo course over the weekend.
Many other sports are preparing to follow with training and coaching opening up to larger groups although restrictions will remain in place for under 18s.
A return to full competition may take a bit longer and contact sports such as rugby and football may have a longer wait to return to more normal operations.
The Guernsey Sports Commission continues to act as a voice for sport during this time. Any sporting organisation with any questions about how they should be operating at this time should contact a member of the team to discuss.