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.
“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 Vowles said the eight countries signed up so far were Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Timor-Leste, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and the Federated States of Micronesia.
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.
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