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Arafura Games

The Arafura Games is a Multi-sport event held every 2 years in the Australian city of Darwin, in the Northern Territory. It is an international event which draws its competitors from around the world. First held in 1991, the most recent Games, held in 2009, involved over 30 nations and over 3,000 athletes. From 2005, it will include events for athletes with physical disabilities. The 2007 Arafura Games received patronage from the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). Called a "meeting of Sporting Neighbours", the Arafura Games takes its name from the Arafura Sea, which lies between northern Australia and Southeast Asia. The nations that are based around the Arafura Sea originally formed the basis of the Arafura Games, however in recent years countries from further afield have participated, including USA, England, Brazil and Liechtenstein. The Games were known as the Arafura Sports Festival up until 1997. The Arafura Games were cancelled in 2003 due to concern over the SARS virus. These Games were the first ever international sporting festival to have Australian Rules Football as an international competition sport in its own right. The International Australian Football Council was formed after the 1995 Games, playing an important role in promoting Aussie Rules until dissolving in 2001.

Basketball is a foundation sport of the Arafura Games, starting back in 1991 basketball has grown from a 4 team competition with teams from around the Darwin region to an 8 team international competition with teams from all over the world. Basketball is played at the Darwin Basketball Stadium, Abala Road Marrara, in the Marrara Sporting Complex. The basketball competition is conducted under Federation of International Basketball Associations (FIBA) conditions and Guidelines. In recent years the USA squad of players from University teams around the United States of America have dominated the competition in terms of winning the Gold medal. The Northern Territory team have been shaded in the last 4 Arafura games by the Americans and only their depth on the bench has let them down. The Northern Territory have won the Silver medal in the past 4 Arafura games. 2007 Arafura Games Basketball results: Arafura Games 2007

GoldUnited States of America: USA Colleges Silver Northern Territory: Northern Territory BronzeAustralian Indigenous: Australian Indigenous

The Arafura Games will next be held 7-14 May 2011. The sports that are to be played at the 2011 Arafura Games are:
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Athletics- including Paralymic events Basketball Boxing Cricket Football (soccer) - including Paralympic events Golf Hockey International lifesaving Muay Thai - new sport for 2009 SepakTakraw Shooting - Clay Target Shooting - Pistol (IPSC) Shooting - Pistol/Air Rifle (ISSF) - including Paralympic events Squash Swimming - including Paralympic events Table tennis - including Paralympic events Ten-pin bowling Triathlon Indoor volleyball Weightlifting and IPC Powerlifting