About the ARAFURA Games
From its humble beginnings, the Arafura Games are now recognised as a leading international sporting competition for emerging athletes of the Asia Pacific region. Held biennially in Darwin, the capital of Australia’s Northern Territory, the Games are billed as a meeting of ‘sporting neighbours’ and attract competitors from all parts of Australia, nations throughout the Asia Pacific and beyond.
The Arafura Games began in 1991 as the Arafura Sports Festival with 1,500 participants from seven countries competing in 13 sports. Member countries now include: Brunei Darussalam, China, Fiji, French Polynesia, Hong Kong (China), Indonesia, Japan, Macau (China), Malaysia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, Chinese Taipei (China), and Vietnam.
The sports involved are: Athletics and Paralympic Athletics, Basketball, Boxing, Cricket, Football, Golf, Hockey, International Lifesaving, Muaythai, Sepak Takraw, Shooting-Clay Target, Shooting-IPSC, Shooting-ISSF, Squash, Swimming and Paralympic Swimming, Table Tennis and Paraylmpic Table Tennis, Tenpin Bowling, Triathlon, Volleyball, Weightlifting and Paralympic Powerlifting.
Over the years, tens of thousands of athletes, spectators, officials and volunteers have been involved.
By the time the Games were held in 2009, participation had doubled with athletes representing more than 40 nations, with competition in 27 sports. That was also the year when Muaythai made its debut at Arafura, where it was a major part of the games, an experience so positive that IFMA has been going back ever since. In 2009 and 2011, Muaythai was praised for being one of the most popular sports and having the most appeal thanks to the high quality fights and the rich cultural program. Attracting the best amateur fighters from around the world, the Arafura Games are now a highlight for muaythai athletes and enthusiasts alike. Everyone is looking forward to the next Arafura Games, May 11-18, 2013!
Press from the Games: