Jet The Puffin Unveiled as Official Mascot for Guernsey’s Island Games 2023
by Article Contributed May 1, 2023
The official mascot for Guernsey’s hosting of the NatWest International Island Games this summer has been named and unveiled as ‘Jet’ the Puffin.
The island’s children voted for the name Jet, short for Jethou, after the seabird went on a road trip of primary schools. The name announcement was made at La Houguette Primary School, where the cuddly mascot met young people and hoped to inspire them to take up sport.
Communications and Events Director for the Games, Amanda Hibbs, said there were several reasons why a puffin was selected to be the mascot. “We felt the puffin reflects the friendship and family values of the Games,” Ms Hibbs explained. “Puffins pair for life and return to the same burrows every year to raise their young. The Island Games are known as the friendly Games, with many friendships forged over the years. After the postponement, it is four years since the Island Games family has been together, so the symbol of a Puffin is very apt.
“The Bailiwick also has a long association with puffins, with colonies that return every year to Jethou, Herm, and Burhou. Our puffin Jet loves sport and parties, and will be very busy in the run-up to the Games and during the week itself. Jet might not make it onto a podium but is happy to give any sport a go.”
Sports representatives and sponsors were asked to come up with names for the puffin, and the results were whittled down to a shortlist of three – Jethou, Patois the Puffin, and Pierre Le Puffin. School pupils voted overwhelmingly for the name ‘Jet’ because although puffins are renowned for their big colourful feet and beaks, they can actually fly very fast.
Games Deputy Director, Emma Beardsell, added: “Jet showcases the spirit, heart, and spark of Guernsey 2023, and has received a very warm reception from the pupils…The students are all so enthusiastic and excited about the Games, and they absolutely love the puffin.
“We always end with telling them to go home and tell their friends and families about what a great event the Games will be.”
The mascot is just one way in which Games’ organisers are trying to leverage sport to inspire and engage children to realise their full potential and live healthier happier lives. A series of projects and programmes are underway to ensure that every child and young person has the chance to get excited by the Games and feel part of it.