Island Games: Volleyball could suffer after being axed from 2021 event

By Brent PilnickBBC Sport
Volleyball at Jersey 2015
Eighteen teams from 11 islands competed in volleyball at Jersey 2015

Axing Volleyball from the 2021 Island Games could see a generation of young players leave the sport in Guernsey.

Volleyball will miss out on 2021 if Guernsey's bid to host is successful, as well as the 2019 Games in Gibraltar.

"We've got quite a few good juniors coming through the ranks," Jennifer Lindfield from the Guernsey Volleyball Association (GVA) told BBC Sport.

"They won't be able to play Island Games for four years which will mean we might struggle to keep them engaged."

Football, golf and cycling have all been reinstated for 2021 after also missing out in 2019, but Guernsey's organising committee felt that they did not have enough space on the island to house another team sport.

Beach volleyball at Jersey 2015
Beach volleyball, with its town-centre location, proved to be one of the most popular events at Jersey 2015

"I'm quite upset that I won't be able to play my sport at a home games in front of my friends and family," added Lindfield, who plays for Guernsey as well as acting as the GVA's secretary.

"But after hearing the reasons I totally understand it was a very hard decision and that volleyball just missed out.

"It's very frustrating, we'd love to have volleyball back in at home games."

And Lindfield says she has not ruled out the possibility of several islands coming together and holding their own event to replace their Island Games experience.

She continued: "It could be possible to make up a mini tournament, but we would have to speak to the other islands and come up with a plan of where we could play it.

"Hopefully the other islands are feeling the same as us and really wanting whoever gets 2023 to be able to put on a really good volleyball tournament so that those that have missed out for four years are able to go back and experience the great tournament that the Island Games is."