The 2024 Australian Deaf Games is ready and set to go in Lake Macquarie and the City of Newcastle this weekend.
Kicking off with an opening ceremony at NEX on Saturday 13 January, the 60th edition of the event will celebrate the best of inclusivity, sportsmanship and wellbeing.
After a false start in 2022 due to COVID, this year’s games are primed to feature more than 1,000 competitors, hailing from all over Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, competing across 20 sports.
Some of the region’s top sporting venues will play host throughout the week, with golf at Waratah Golf Club, athletics at Hunter Sports Stadium, soccer at the Regional Football Stadium at Speers Point and swimming at Toronto, to name a few.
Deaf Sports Australia vice-president Kathryn Armfield says the athletes and organisers are excited to explore the Hunter region during what is its first Oceania Games.
“What’s extra exciting about this event is that it’s also the first Oceania Deaf Games, whereby Pacific countries have been invited to attend and compete,” she said.
“The Australian and Oceania Deaf Games is not just a multi-sport event but also a major social and cultural celebration of the Australian Deaf Community.
“We welcome old faces and new faces with the hope that everyone goes home with new and renewed friendships and self-affirmation in themselves.”
The program highlights will extend beyond the sporting field with a range of peripheral activities including: Auslan storytime and lessons, a movie night at Warners Bay Theatre, baramayiba, lake cruises, an immersive all ages disco and an epic closing ceremony at the Multi-Arts Pavilion (MAP), mima on Saturday 20 January.
Lake Macquarie City mayor Kay Fraser says the event offers an exciting opportunity to showcase the city’s world class sporting facilities and visitor attractions.
“From competition at our evolving Hunter Sports Stadium to the cultural offerings of curator tours of exhibitions at our Museum of Art and Culture, yapang and MAP mima, there’s no shortage of things to enjoy in and out of the sporting arena this week,” she said.
“The closing ceremony at MAP mima will be a fitting finale to a week of fierce competition, friendship and unity, coinciding with our annual Lake Mac Festival.
“I encourage the community to come along and enjoy the games, support the competitors and make this Australian Deaf Games the best one yet.”
The 2024 Australian Deaf Games are jointly hosted and proudly supported by Lake Macquarie City Council and City of Newcastle.
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