Arafura Games Set To Return In 2019 at Darwin, Australia

Arafura Games Set To Return In 2019 at Darwin, Australia
Elliott Fleet Naming Ceremony © Darwin Sailing Club

The Arafura Games a unique, inclusive multi-sport event where athletes with a disability compete in the same program as able-bodied athletes are set to make a comeback in 2019 with 15 sports including Sailing. Competitors from around the world compete in the week-long games held every 2 years in the Australian city of Darwin, in the Northern Territory.

Known as “meeting of Sporting Neighbours”, the Arafura Games takes its name from the Arafura Sea, which lies between northern Australia and Southeast Asia. The Arafura Games were first held in 1991 with nations along the Arafura Sea to strengthen sporting, business and cultural ties between Australia and Asia-Pacific countries.

In more recent years other nations became involved with around 1600 athletes from 40 countries, including the US and England, competing in 2011 and over 1000 volunteers. The games were cancelled the following year. 

The Arafura Games will return to the Northern Territory for the first time in eight years in an effort to boost trade with Australia’s Asian neighbours. The games were axed by the former government five years ago, but will be held again between April 27 and May 4 in 2019.

There will be a strong focus on delivering jobs and building regional investment networks, with the NT Chamber of Commerce to run a $100,000 conference in Darwin during the games and the NT Government investing $4 million for the revived week-long multi-sport festival run every 2yrs.

In 2019 there will be 15 sports with an additional 2 demonstration sports, Sepak Takraw and Dragon Boating. Sailing will be in the form of Match Racing using the Darwin Sailing Clubs new fleet of Elliott 7’s.

Sailing has been a regular sport over the years with previous events in the form of fleet racing. Match Racing was chosen to reduce costs for the teams travelling. We are hoping to see up to 6 different nations participate from the Asian region.

Expressions of interest can be emailed to for further information on the event.


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