The Arafura games will return to Darwin in 2019 as a biennial event after being deferred in 2012 by the government of the time.
The current government has appointed Ken Vowles as the Minister for the Arafura Games, Kate Worden as Assistant Minister for Bringing Back the Arafura Games and Kylie Salisbury as Director of the event.
China, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Macau China, Timor-Leste, Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu have all confirmed they will be sending athletes to the Arafura Games, and there will be a strong contingent of athletes from around Australia.
The Arafura games will include Dragon Boating, Muaythai and many more conventional sports.
To register as an athlete, team official or volunteer visit www.arafuragames.nt.gov.au
The muaythai competition, will be a qualifying event for the World Games Muaythai competition in Birmingham 2021, and the para table tennis will be a direct qualifier for the Oceania region to gain their slots for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Other sports such as weightlifting, wheelchair tennis and para athletics will use the Arafura Games as a pathway event for athletes to gain ranking points, record qualification results or participate in the required number of events to be eligible for Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games
“The former chaotic CLP government scrapped the Games. As promised, we are bringing them back on 27 April 2019,” Mr Vowles said. “We already have eight countries signed up, and more will be announced soon.
“Kylie Salisbury will work with the Department of Tourism and Culture’s Tourism and Events team, which is responsible for successes such as the V8 Supercars Championships, and two officers from the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation, as the Games are as much about building international government and business relationships as they are about sport.”
Mr Ken Vowles will meet with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology while in Japan to follow up his invitation to take part in the Games.
Ms Salisbury said she was looking forward to delivering an international sporting event that will benefit the Territory.
“The Arafura Games will bring great opportunities,” she said. “I will be working closely with the 15 sports involved to finalise the program, venues and competition schedule as quickly as possible.”
The sports included in the 2019 Arafura Games are Athletics, Tennis, Muay Thai, Sailing, Volleyball, Weightlifting, Basketball, Hockey, Netball, Table tennis, Boxing, Soccer, Badminton, Swimming and Archery. There will also be demonstration sports including Sepak Takraw and Dragon Boating.
The current Mayor of Darwin, Mr Kon Vatskalis, was Minister for Sport and Recreation at the previous Arafura Games in 2011.
Previous games were run with the assistance of many volunteers, if you wish to help as a volunteer registrations are open now.
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