More than 1,000 athletes will converge on Lake Macquarie and Newcastle for the 2022 Australian Deaf Games following the success of a joint bid by the two cities to host the prestigious multi-sport event.
Deaf Sports Australia General Manager Garry West-Bail today joined the Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Councillor Nuatali Nelmes, and Mayor of Lake Macquarie, Councillor Kay Fraser, to announce the Games location.
Lake MacQuarie Mayor Kay Fraser, Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes and Deaf Sports Australia Board member Alex Jones at today's announcement.
“The Games will draw Deaf and Hard of Hearing athletes and supporters from across Australia and the Pacific to the Hunter, providing a significant boost to local businesses and bringing one of Australia’s most vibrant and inclusive sporting events to the region,” Mr West-Bail said.
Events will be spread over more than a dozen venues across the two cities, with dynamic opening and closing ceremonies to be held at the No 2 Sports Ground, in Newcastle. A centrally located Games Hub will serve as a base for registrations, media, workshops and other activities.
Athletes will compete across a range of sports including futsal, basketball, beach volleyball, golf, swimming, darts, athletics, rugby sevens, cricket and tennis.
Athletes Peta Ware and Stuart Clear enjoying a pass on No.2.
Cr Nelmes said both Newcastle and Lake Macquarie had strong reputations for delivering world-class sporting events, such as the 2015 AFC Asian Cup football tournament, Newcastle 500 Supercars, 2013 Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games and the 2014 International Children’s Games.
"We are thrilled to join Lake Macquarie in announcing yet another events coup for Newcastle and the Hunter today," she said.
"We boast a strong history of hosting international sporting events, and I've said before that we could easily host the Commonwealth Games in similar partnerships with other councils.
“Newcastle has transformed itself into a vibrant, unique and culturally rich city and, before the athletes arrive in four years, major infrastructure projects will have reinvented our coastline and city centre.”
Cr Fraser said the Deaf Games competitors, officials and spectators would be warmly welcomed to the region by the host communities.
“Combined, our cities offer a wealth of quality sporting facilities, all conveniently located within close proximity, and a magnificent, relaxed environment in which participants from across Australia and the Pacific can come together to meet, compete and play,” she said.
“As a Games venue, we promise to provide not only a first-class sporting event but a cultural and social experience that will live long in the memories of our guests.”
Deaf Sports Australia board member Alex Jones, who headed 2018 Games organising committee, congratulated Newcastle and Lake Macquarie on their successful bid.
“As the Chair of the 2018 Australian Deaf Games, it thrills me to see two cities working together to deliver the 2022 Australian Deaf Games,” he said.
“It is a model that worked well with Albury and Wodonga for the 2018 Games, with the neighbouring communities sharing resources and benefits, and one we will continue to pursue in the future for the Australian Deaf Games.”
The Lord Mayor and an Auslan interpreter.
The final dates for the 2022 Australian Deaf Games are yet to be formalised but it is likely to take place in April. Deaf Sports Australia will recruit a Games Organising Committee to oversee the coordination of the event.
The 2022 Australian Deaf Games are supported by the NSW Government via its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.
Australian Deaf Games – Athlete snapshots
Peta competed as a touch football player-coach in the 2018 Australian Deaf Games held in Albury-Wodonga. She coached the NSW women’s team and played in both the women's and mixed divisions for touch football, helping NSW to a clean sweep against arch-rivals Queensland for the first time in 15 years.
Peta is a member of the Hunter Hornets women’s touch team and competed in the 35s division at the National touch League in Coffs Harbour in March. She captained the Australian deaf women’s rugby team in the Deaf Rugby World Cup in April and also plays rugby league and AFL.
Stuart Clear was a competitor at the 2018 Australian Deaf Games in a number of sports. He has also been a NSW representative in deaf rugby league.