Isle of Wight sportspeople will not get a chance to compete in the Island Games until 2023.

The International Island Games Association announced last night that the Guernsey games, which were due to have taken place next year, have been postponed to 2023.

In the wake of the global pandemic, organisers have been working to get the games back on track but said they had come to the decision to plan for 2023.

The plan for future games will be to move forward by two years: Orkney will be 2025, Ynys Mon (Anglesey) will be 2027 and the Isle of Man will become the preferred host for 2029.

This decision has been reached after an extensive consultation with all of the member islands, as well as the organising commitees from Guernsey, Orkney and Ynys Mon and the lead sponsors, NatWest International.

The chair of the IIGA, Jorgen Petersson, confirmed it had not been an easy decision.

He said: “Although the outcome of the consultation supported 2023, we have tried hard to find solutions in order to do what we are meant to be doing – develop sports within our islands.

Kevin Winchcombe, chair of the Isle of Wight Island Games Executive, welcomed the decision.

He said some member sports had wanted an earlier restart but all accepted the decision.

He said: "This gives us time...time for athletes to save up to go to the games, time for businesses to recover from the pandemic and, hopefully, support the IW team.

"It takes 18 months to prepare for a games and if we had tried to fit another one in before then we would have ended up organising two games at the same time."

Kevin said he aimed to build teams and infrastructure to support the athletes in the meantime.

"I am hoping we will see young sportspeople coming through in that time.

"Take Henry McLuckie, the runner, who came to Gibraltar at the age of 15 in 2019. He has come on incredibly since then and gained a lot from soaking up the atmosphere of a major championships.

"I am hoping there are others like him out there, in all the 14 sports the games covers."

Kevin said that when Covid restrictions permitted, he aimed to bring all possible supporters of the games together at an event in 2021.