The Island Games have opened in Gibraltar ©Gibraltar 2019

Cutting the use of plastic was a central theme of the Opening Ceremony of the 2019 NatWest Island Games in Gibraltar tonight.

Organisers have made sustainability a key part of these Games and even the final musical act of the evening fulfilled that theme with Nathan Conroy’s Recycle Junkies performing at the Europa Sports Complex in the British Overseas Territory.

The event took place in overcast and windy conditions but the 22 islands competing in the Games still seemed to enjoy themselves during the two-hour ceremony.  

The teams were led out by Gotland, a large Swedish island and province in the Baltic Sea and the last hosts of the Games two years ago. 

The largest cheer - of course - was reserved for Gibraltar, who, as hosts were the last to enter the arena, led out by Freddy Chappory, President of the Gibraltar Island Games Association. 

The teams were played into the stadium by the bands of the Royal Marines and Gibraltar Regiment.

The traditional water fountain was then filled to mark the official opening of an event set to feature 2,000 athletes taking part in 14 sports with the Closing Ceremony due to take place on Friday (July 12). 

More than 700 volunteers are involved in helping organise the Games. 

it is the only the second time in the 34-year history of the Island Games that Gibraltar has hosted the event, having previously staged them in 1995. 

Linda Alvarez, head of the Gibraltar 2019 Organising Committee, Jorgen Pettersson, chairman of the International Island Games Association, and Fabian Pacardo, Gibraltar’s Chief Minister, were among those to address the crowd. 

"Today you can open your eyes everything Mr Linares and Linda Alvarez dreamt has come into a reality," Pettersson, who is from the Åland Islands, an autonomous region of Finland, told the crowd.

"This the result of hard work."