Guernsey stamps celebrate International Island Games XIX

Stamps celebrating the NatWest International Island Games XIX, to be held in Guernsey from 8-14 July, have been released by Guernsey Post’s philatelic bureau.

Guernsey is the only island to host the event for a third time and the bureau has released a set of seven stamps depicting the 14 different sports competing in what is also known as ‘The Friendly Games’.

The Games first began in 1985 when the Isle of Man brought together athletes from 15 small islands around the world for a sporting festival called the ‘Inter-Island Games’.  It has since grown to include 24 member islands.

The stamps

GSY stamp: The Island Games’ football tournament is one of the most well-established tournaments of non-FIFA international football and features alongside tennis, which should prove to be some great spectator games.

UK stamp values: Fans of the triathlon can enjoy a new event this year: the triathlon relay will race along the St Peter Port seafront. Indoor Bowls is also on the first UK stamp, returning to the Games after an 18-year break.

The second UK stamp depicts golf and sailing. Guernsey was top of the medal table in the sailing at the last Games and the team will be looking to retain their spot at the top in July.

EUR stamp values: Badminton and athletics are shown on the first of two stamps, with Guernsey winning seven medals for Badminton at the last Games. Athletics medal hopefuls will aim to follow in the footsteps of Guernsey’s Dale Garland, who raced at the Games and went on to win gold and silver medals for Great Britain.

The second EUR stamp depicts basketball and shooting. Guernsey women’s basketball team will aim to reach the heights of the 2003 Games when they won the gold medal on home soil.

ROW stamp values: Some of the world’s top sportsmen and women began their careers at the Games including Olympic cyclist and Tour de France champion, Mark Cavendish, from the Isle of Man. Guernsey’s table tennis team will be looking for medal success again after taking home six medals in 2019.

The second ROW stamp depicts archery alongside swimming, with Guernsey’s team comprising 13 seasoned Games’ swimmers and eight new caps making their debut.

The Miniature Sheet features Jet the Puffin, the Guernsey 2023 mascot. Every spring, puffins flock back to the sanctuary of the rocky islands of Jethou, Burhou and Herm in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, to breed. The puffin was chosen as the mascot for the Games to reflect its core values: friendship and family.  ‘Jet’, short for Jethou, was the name chosen by local primary schoolchildren.

Bridget Yabsley, head of philatelic at Guernsey Post, said: – “The Games are a significant event in Guernsey’s sporting calendar, which will see the island welcome around 3,500 athletes, coaches and officials, so we are particularly excited to release our stamps as Guernsey hosts the event for a third time.”

The stamp products are available to order now at or by calling Philatelic Customer Services on +44 (0) 1481 716486.


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