PRESS RELEASE: 8th March 2022
The Oceania Athletics Association (OAA) and the Oceania Paralympic Committee (OPC) are excited to announce that the Oceania Athletics Championships, to be held in Mackay, Australia, will incorporate the Oceania Para Athletics Championships.
In a world first for International Athletics Competitions, Para athletes will compete for Oceania Championships Medals at the same time at the same venue.
With the cancellation of the Para World Championships in 2022, there was limited International Competition for Para Athletes throughout Oceania. The need for quality competition for the Oceania para-athletes was recognised by both OAA and the OPC, culminating in this outstanding opportunity.
The Oceania Athletics Championships has offered para events at previous Area Championships, but this is the first time they will be formally recognised at the Oceania Championships.
Oceania Paralympic Committee President Paul Bird:
“The Oceania Paralympic Committee applauds the decision by the Oceania Athletics Association to recognise the forthcoming event in Mackay as well as future iterations, as the Oceania Para Athletics Championships. As we begin the journey to Brisbane 2032, this decision by OAA for our Para Athletes to have a recognised and enhanced opportunity for regular International Competition within our Region, representing their country in an integrated National Team, is the perfect pathway for our ParaSport athletes.”
Oceania Athletics President Robin Sapong-Eugenio has said “Its fantastic that our organisations have been able to come together and offer our athletes throughout Oceania an opportunity for international Championships in 2022, it will create a pathway for our Para Athletes in the lead up to Paris and beyond.”
With Oceania Athletics having the Mackay Regional Council as the Major Sponsor for the 2022 Oceania Athletics Championships. Sapong-Eugenio, is looking forward to the Championships in Mackay. “Mackay has proven itself to host major sporting events, including athletics competitions, over the past few years, and we are pleased to be working with the Mackay Regional Council as the major partner and sponsor of the Championships.”
Mackay Regional Council Mayor Greg Williamson said having Mackay as the host city in 2022 was a fantastic opportunity and a testament to the world-class nature of the Mackay ARC (Aquatic and Recreation Complex).Mackay Regional Council, through its Events Attraction Program, had worked hard to secure the event, which was expected to generate 11,725 bed nights and result in a $2.5 million dollar stimulus to the Region.
“We look forward to welcoming athletes from across the Pacific and hope they take the time to enjoy some of our region’s must-do activities – like see a platypus at Eungella, meet the Cape Hillsborough wallabies on the beach at sunrise or simply enjoy a meal in our City Centre,” he said.
Oceania Athletics will follow all government regulations regarding Covid-19, including any travel restrictions, entry requirements and regulations specific to hosting events.The Oceania Athletics and Para Athletics Championships will run from June 7th to 11th at the Mackay ARC.
END OF RELEASE
For more information, please contact:
Tom O’Shaughnessy Competitions Manager – Oceania Athletics