The Special Olympics 2013 Asia Pacific Games will bring together 32 nations from across the Asia Pacific region. Over 2,500 athletes and carers, 6,000 officials and supporters from overseas and interstate and 200,000 spectators will converge on the Newcastle-Hunter region for the duration of the Games. Over 4000 local volunteers are being recruited to make the Special Olympics 2013 Asia Pacific Games possible.

The Asia Pacific Games will be the largest multi country event ever held for people with an intellectual disability in our region and in Australia. I hope it will build a platform of awareness and support for the athletes of Special Olympics and I urge all Australians to support our athletes along the journey to this wonderful event and beyond.

- Her Excellency Governor General and Special Olympics Australia Patron, Ms Quentin Bryce AC CVO

Athletes from the Asia Pacific region will compete across nine sports – Aquatics, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Bocce, Cricket, Football, Table Tennis and Ten Pin Bowling.
Currently, the Asia Pacific Region has the fastest growing number of athletes and sporting competitions in the world. Therefore, there can be no greater or more exciting time to bring together the Asia Pacific region to compete in the Special Olympics.


The Special Olympics 2013 Asia Pacific Games will call Newcastle home between November 30th and December 7th 2013.

On November 30th Newcastle will welcome the Special Olympics athletes through the Host City Welcome Event. The Games will officially launch on Sunday December 1st 2013 when Hunter Stadium comes alive to celebrate the Opening Ceremony of the Games.

Athletes will compete between December 2nd and December 6th 2013. The Games will conclude on December 7th with the Closing Celebration, one final gala event to celebrate the achievements of the Special Olympics athletes.

  • 30th November – Host City Welcome Event
  • 1st December – Opening Ceremony
  • 2nd December to 6th December – Competition Days
  • 7th December – Closing Celebration

Competition Days

The 4 days of competition are:

  • Monday 2nd December
  • Tuesday 3rd December
  • Thursday 5th December
  • Friday 6th December

Competition will start at approximately 10.30am each day and finish at approximately 5.30pm each day

You do not need to purchase tickets to attend the sporting events. It is free for spectators to attend.

Family and Supporters Guide - Edition One

Family and Supporters Guide - Edition Two

Location and venues


The city of Newcastle is excited to host the 2013 Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games, one of the largest international events to be held in Australia in 2013. This is the first time the Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games will be held in Australia. The Games will be the largest multi-cultural event to ever be held in the city of Newcastle.

The Games will heavily engage the community of the Newcastle-Hunter region and present a number of community events and programs.



The city of Newcastle has a unique Australian landscape. Whilst being a functional harbour city, it is also a beachside city closely surrounded by stunning surf beaches. Few cities are lucky enough to find so many exquisite beaches located just minutes from the city centre.

Two hours north of Sydney and Australia’s seventh largest city, Newcastle, is nestled in the heart of the Hunter region. With its world class business and industry, Newcastle offers all the benefits of a big city. But in keeping with the city’s uniqueness, Newcastle also delivers the charm and sense of community found in a country town.

In addition to the scenic delights on offer, Newcastle is a modern, cosmopolitan city. The city boasts a rich culture, complete with an offbeat arts and live music scene and flourishing food and shopping opportunities.

The Hunter


The Hunter is comprised of the towns, vineyards and national parks of the Hunter Valley, the Upper Hunter and Barrington Tops. The picturesque Hunter Valley is home to over 150 wineries, and is famous for its exquisite food and wine industry.

The Hunter Valley is one of the premier Australian tourist destinations. Most visitors to the region enjoy their time experiencing the wonderful wines, local produce, and the world class restaurants and accommodation.

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