Arafura Games: Athletes Start Arriving 23 April 2019 With only days to go until the commencement of the 2019 Arafura Games, excitement is building as national and international athletes arrive for the nine-day event. Athletes, including members from the Australian Para Athletics team were welcome today at Darwin International Airport today to welcomed by representatives from the NT Parliament. The team includes international ranking para athletes keen to compete at the Arafura Games in preparation for competition at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. Athletics Australia’s Steve Caddy said “The Arafura Games is a great opportunity for many of our senior international para-athletics athletes to have the opportunity to compete against international fields on an unfamiliar track prior to our next major benchmark meet in November this year. “Darwin presents tough conditions (heat and humidity) for track and field athletes which gives our athletes the platform to refine their heat and recovery preparations ahead of the 2019 WPA Championships and 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games which will be competed in similar conditions. “We have bought a team of 35 of our international athletes and staff and hope to see some outstanding performances this late in the athletics season.” The 2019 Arafura Games is the only multi-sport event inclusive of para athletes within the region and will see more than 180 para athletes competing in athletics, swimming, tennis and table tennis. Fifteen sports make up the Arafura Games with more than 1,500 competitors from more than 40 countries taking part. The Games will create jobs and benefit the local community through volunteer training and upskilling of sports officials while showcasing the NT’s art, history and industry development opportunities. Games competitions will be held at the Marrara Sporting Complex, Darwin Convention Centre, Darwin Waterfront, Parap Swimming Pool and Fannie Bay, Darwin Harbour. All Arafura Games events are free, excluding 3×3 Pro Hustle basketball which is a ticketed event at the Darwin Convention Centre. The Arafura Games 2019 start on Friday 26 April with a spectacular Opening Celebration at the Darwin Waterfront.