MEDIA RELEASE on 18 Oct. 2006
ARAFURA GAMES – ASIA PACIFIC NATIONS
SET TO COMPETE IN AUSTRALIA NEXT YEAR
With fewer than eight months to go until the Arafura Games in Australia in 2007, the excitement is building in Australia’s northern capital, Darwin.
The Arafura Games is a leading international sporting competition for emerging athletes of the Asia Pacific region. Scheduled to be held from 12-19 May 2007, the games have drawn an increasing interest from many countries in the Asia Pacific Region wishing to compete.
Several countries have already confirmed their participation in next year’s Games and organisers are expecting additional acceptances from many other countries.
A list of the countries already planning to attend is attached hereunder.
In recent months, games organisers from Darwin have travelled to SE Asian and Pacific countries to promote the games and elicit interest and participation and officials are expecting additional nominations from regional countries in the lead-up to 2007.
Preparations for the games are well under way, with several new sporting facilities being developed. Arafura 2007 again promises exciting competition in 23 sports at international standard venues with several new events being introduced, including sailing and judo (which makes a return after an absence) as well as the Commonwealth Junior Weightlifting Championships.
To specifically cater for athletes with disabilities, the expansion of some events will also see several Paralympic Sports, incorporating the Oceania Paralympic Championships.
Games organisers say these special events will provide a pathway for the future champions of the Asia Pacific, as athletes not only compete and create mutual friendships, but visiting athletes and officials will also share and learn from the games collective sporting knowledge.
Once again, the games will have on offer the best of Australia’s sporting education system in the form on an International Sports Conference and Seminar series.
Director of the Games Events, Mr Adrian Curry, said that the organisers are currently putting together a program for this high-quality event and were seeking expressions of interest from people wishing to present issues or suggest topics on which to focus.
“The Games’ theme has always been known as Sporting Neighbours,” Mr Curry said
“But for 2007, we have added two new themes - Emerging Champions and Sharing Knowledge.
“Together these phases summarise what the games are all about, that is, sporting neighbours sharing knowledge for the benefit of emerging champions,” he said.
COUNTRIES SO FAR PLANNING TO ATTEND
Brunei; Cambodia; Mainland China; Macau; Hong Kong; Chinese Taipei; Timor Leste; England; Ireland; Scotland; Fiji; New Caledonia; Cook Islands; Federated States of Micronesia; Guam; Japan; Nauru; Niue; Northern Mariana Islands; Samoa; Tonga; India; Indonesia; Italy; Malaysia; New Zealand; PNG; The Philippines; Singapore; South Africa; Sri Lanka; Thailand; USA; Vanuatu; Vietnam; Qatar.