Planning is well underway for the return of the Arafura Games with the appointment of experienced event manager Kylie Salisbury as Director of the event.

Minister for the Arafura Games, Ken Vowles, said Ms Salisbury brings years of experience to the role. She will join the Arafura team on April 3, more than a year out from the Games, which will take place from April 27-May 4 2019. Eight countries have now signed up to take part.

“When the Games were scrapped by the former CLP government, they attracted almost 4500 athletes and support personnel from 47 countries,” Mr Vowles said.

“The Territory Labor Government is building the Games back up to this level of success. Having someone like Kylie at the helm, with more than 20 years of experience in event planning, is vital.

“She has delivered a number of high-profile events in the Territory, including the 75th Bombing of Darwin Commemorative Program and the Cyclone Tracy 40-Year Anniversary event.

“She will work with the Department of Tourism and Culture’s Tourism and Events team, which is responsible for successes such as the V8 Supercars Championships, and two officers from the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation, as the Games are as much about building international government and business relationships as they are about sport.”

Ms Salisbury said she was looking forward to delivering an international sporting event that will benefit the Territory.

“The Arafura Games will bring great opportunities,” she said. “I will be working closely with the 15 sports involved to finalise the program, venues and competition schedule as quickly as possible.”

The sports included in the 2019 Arafura Games are Athletics, Tennis, Muay Thai, Sailing, Volleyball, Weightlifting, Basketball, Hockey, Netball, Table tennis, Boxing, Soccer, Badminton, Swimming and Archery. There will also be demonstration sports including Sepak Takraw and Dragon Boating.

Mr Vowles said the eight countries signed up so far were Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Timor-Leste, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and the Federated States of Micronesia.

“More countries will be announced soon,” he said.

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