Paralympics Australia has announced its support of the Arafura Games 2019 as a gold member partner.

From 26 April to 4 May, over 1,500 athletes and team officials from more than 40 nations will converge on Darwin and across select venues in the city to compete in the Arafura Game which are returning to Darwin after eight years.

With 15 sports making up the Arafura Games, an integrated Para-program with more than 180 Para-athletes competing will also be included in Athletics, Swimming, Tennis and Table Tennis.

Three-time Paralympic gold medallist and two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Kurt Fearnley said sponsorship of sports events like the Arafura Games was important as it’s the only multi-sport type event inclusive of Para-athletes in the region.

“This type of event offers a fantastic pathway for regional Para-athletes,” he said. “For some people with disabilities, just getting to the starting line can be a barrier and so something like the Arafura Games opens up so many more opportunities.

It builds on inclusiveness in Australian sport and offers Para-athletes the chance to meet and compete with other national and international level athletes.”

Paralympics Australia Chief Executive Lynne Anderson said they were very proud to support the Arafura Games because of the significant role the event plays in preparing athletes for the Paralympic Games.

“For many elite and emerging Para-athletes, the Arafura Games provide an important opportunity for classification, competition and qualification ahead of Tokyo 2020 and invaluable international experience at a large multi-sport event,” she said.

Landbridge-Darwin Port CEO, Terry O’Connor said they were excited and proud to support the Arafura Games and the volunteer program.

“We are thrilled to be supporting the Games and the local volunteers, and we take immense pride in giving back to the community,” he said.

“Not only will we see talented athletes and exciting competition, it’s also about promoting Darwin and the broader Territory as a premier tourist destination and strengthening relationships with our Asia-Pacific trading partners which is important for the future of the region.”

Arafura Games 2019 Director Sally Jarvis welcomed Paralympics Australia into the Games family as sponsors.

“The support of our sponsors is key to the successful delivery of an outstanding, athlete centred, sport-focused Games and we welcome the commitment they have made to Darwin by investing in what will be an unforgettable event,” she said.

“The Games will also be a wonderful opportunity to showcase all that is great about Darwin and the Top End. “

The Arafura Games 2019 start on Friday 26 April, with a spectacular Opening Celebration to be held at the Darwin Waterfront. All Arafura Games events are free, including the Opening and Closing Celebration (excluding 3×3 Pro Hustle basketball at the Darwin Convention Centre which is ticketed).

Sports will be held at the Marrara Sporting Complex, Darwin Convention Centre, Darwin Waterfront, Parap Swimming Pool and Fannie Bay, Darwin Harbour.

Originally posted by Arafura Media and appearing on www.paralympic.org.au