Northern Territory Government Newsroom

Bringing Back the Arafura Games in 2021

The Arafura Games will be back.

The Minister responsible for the revitalised Games Natasha Fyles has announced the multi-sport event will be held again from 14-22 May 2021.

With more than 1700 athletes from more than 40 countries taking part in 15 sports, the Games have brought an international flavour and vibrancy to the capital.

Many new friends have been made, athletes have been tested, a few records broken and many more memories made over the past nine days.

The Territory Labor Government committed to bringing back the Arafura Games. Sports Medicine Australia, St John Ambulance, the Games Ambassadors, volunteers, sporting officials, businesses, the Chamber of Commerce, the athletes themselves and many others have contributed to turning that commitment into a reality.

With some athletes using the Games as a stepping stone to international rankings or to boost performances in the lead up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, there’s no doubt the Arafura Games has cemented its position in the international sporting calendar.

Quote from Minister for the Arafura Games, Natasha Fyles:

“The Territory Labor Government realised the economic and social benefit that these Games bring to our community.

“We will conduct a cost-benefit analysis as we promised. The economic benefits will take a while to quantify but the evidence of the social benefits of these Games are everywhere.

 “Our cafés are full, our accommodation houses are bursting and the city is alive with people speaking in dozens of different languages.

“This is what the Arafura Games – the Inclusive Games – is all about; sharing business ties, culture, lifestyle, history and sporting endeavours with our national and international neighbours.

“I’m very proud to be part of a Government with the foresight to bring back the Arafura Games. I can’t wait until the next one.”

Quote from Project Manager, Oceania Paralympic Committee, Chris Nunn

“The Arafura Games have played a pivotal role in determining the athletes from the Pacific Islands who will be targeted for international representation at the World Athletics Championships and Tokyo 2020.

“We are delighted to hear that the Arafura Games are returning in 2021 and are hoping they can become a regular component of the Oceania regional calendar.

“Now we know the Games will be back in 2021 we will work together to grow the number of para athletes to hopefully double what we have had here in 2019.”

Quote from Arafura Games Ambassador, Timmy Duggan

“The Arafura Games leaves a legacy and impacts on Darwin socially, culturally and economically.

“The professional development opportunities for officials, volunteers and coaches has provided growth to individuals involved in the sports too.

“The City of Darwin buzzes for the duration of the Games, and I think they’ll be bigger and better in 2021.”

Quote from Darwin City & Waterfront Retailers Association Chair, Elena Gomatos

“The Arafura Games has given the City a welcomed and much needed vibrancy and our members have reported an increased foot traffic and some have had improved sales.”

Media contact: Cameron Angus 0404 021 192.