More than 30 nations to compete at first-ever Special Olympics international games

Almost two thousand competitors from more than 30 countries will compete in the inaugural Special Olympics-2013 Asia Pacific Games in Newcastle from 1 – 7 December.

Page last updated: 27 November 2013

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27 November 2013

Almost two thousand competitors from more than 30 countries will compete in the inaugural Special Olympics-2013 Asia Pacific Games in Newcastle next week (December 1 – 7).

Federal Minister for Sport Peter Dutton said today Australia was proud to be hosting the largest multi-sport event ever held in Australia and the southern hemisphere for athletes with an intellectual disability.

The Games will begin with a spectacular opening ceremony next Sunday (December 1) at Hunter Stadium.

“We look forward to welcoming the teams and supporters from overseas to Australia for this major event,” Mr Dutton said.

Australia will be represented by a team of 400 athletes competing across nine different sports - the largest ever Special Olympics Australia team to compete at an international Special Olympics Games.

“This will be a huge event for Australia and for the Hunter region with competition scheduled at seven different venues over the week November 30 to December 7,” Mr Dutton said.

“We wish all the competitors well, but especially wish our Aussie team the best of luck over the coming week as they prepare to compete in aquatic events, football, cricket, athletics, basketball, table tennis, badminton, bocce and ten pin bowling competitions.

“I’d also like to thank the 5000 volunteers and 600 officials and coaches who will enable these inaugural Games to happen.”

The Australian Government contributed $1 million towards the Games, sporting activities, the opening ceremony, closing celebrations and other programs promoting the role of physical activity in improving the health and well-being of people with an intellectual disability.

Media Contact: Minister's Office - 02 6277 7220

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