ADF teams join the Arafura Games

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23 April 2019

More than 100 Australian Defence Force (ADF) athletes will compete in the Top End’s highly anticipated Arafura Games from 26 April – 4 May 2019.

Over nine days, ADF competitors will join 800 volunteers and 1500 local, national and international athletes from more than 40 nations for the multi-sport event.  

The Australian Army’s 1st Brigade Commander, Brigadier Matt Pearse AM said the ADF was honoured to accept the invitation to the regional sporting event returning to the Northern Territory for the first time in eight years.  

“We are excited to have several local teams from 1st Brigade as well as interstate ADF teams participating in this year’s Games,” Brigadier Pearse said. 

Named after the Arafura Sea on the Arnham Land coast, the Games were first established in 1991 to build ties with local communities and regional neighbours.

Brigadier Pearse said the return of the Arafura Games was an opportunity to not only build sporting prowess but to connect people and build friendships.

 “Sport is an important part of ADF life, it’s a great way to develop teamwork and connect us with local communities, fostering life-long friendships.”

The ADF and 1st Brigade teams will participate in six of the 17 sports disciplines, including, football, netball, basketball, volleyball, sailing, and for the first time in the Games’ history, squash.  
Defence Force Recruiting representatives will be on hand to support competitors and to speak about life in uniform and the unique opportunities it presents.
Senior Military Recruiting Officer Darwin, Flight Lieutenant Brendan Knopke hopes to use the Games to raise awareness of the pre-recruitment pathways available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
“We have a number of programs that contribute to closing the gap, boosting participants’ skills, knowledge and confidence to set them up for a successful role in the ADF,” Flight Lieutenant Knopke said.  
Media Note:

Interviews are available with Flight Lieutenant Brendon Knopke and Indigenous Recruitment Officer, Petty Officer Glen Hall. Interviews with Defence athletes may be requested via Defence Media.

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