Australia will host up to 1000 international athletes and officials for the inaugural Virtus Oceania Asia Games after a Morrison Government investment of almost $2 million.
Competitors with an intellectual impairment from more than 25 nations across Asia and the Pacific are expected to compete in the OAGames 2022.
Sport Inclusion Australia in conjunction with National and State Sporting organisations will host the event in Brisbane from 5 to 11 November.
Minister for Sport Richard Colbeck said the OAGames reinforced the impressive line-up of major sporting events to be held in Australia in the next decade.
“Australia keeps attracting major sporting events because of our well-justified reputation as an excellent host of world class international sporting competitions,” Minister Colbeck said.
“OAGames 2022 is a great addition to huge line-up of major competitions ahead of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“The Morrison Government supported the successful INAS Global Games in 2019, also hosted by Sport Inclusion Australia, which at the time was the world's largest sporting event for elite athletes with intellectual impairment.
“OAGames 2022 will build on that success and raise awareness of inclusive sport to a new level, with a clear focus on engagement and participation of our Pacific neighbours, as we head to the 2032 summer Paralympics in Brisbane.”
OAGames 2022 is a multi-sport event which includes international sanctioning and classification for the sports of athletics, swimming, and table tennis, leading to the Virtus Global Games 2023 in Vichy France, and the summer Paralympics in Paris 2024.
Other sports on the program include basketball, cycling, rowing, taekwondo and tennis; and for the first time, OAGames will also include badminton, judo and triathlon, providing more opportunities for athlete participation.
The Games will also host the inaugural World Para Sailing Championship as part of its program.
Sport Inclusion Australia Chief Executive Officer Robyn Smith said the Games marked an important opportunity to showcase the abilities of those who live with an intellectual impairment.
“With an estimated 2 to 3 per cent of the world’s population having an intellectual impairment, the OAGames highlights the immense ability of the athletes and the power of sport to change attitudes, challenge perceptions, and strengthen communities locally and globally” Ms Smith said.
Active engagement in sport has a positive impact on an individual’s health and wellbeing and on community connection.