Lake Macquarie has received an overwhelming response from across the world with more than 70 international cities accepting the invitation to participate in the 2014 International Children's Games (ICG) from 6-11 December.
With the invitation to participate in the Games being extended to a further 50 cities across Australia and New Zealand, including those in the Hunter Region, the organising committee is expecting to attract competitors from more than 90 cities in Australia and across the world. A great result for the first Games to be held in the southern hemisphere.
Mayor of Lake Macquarie, Cr Jodie Harrison sent the first round of invitations in December last year to all past participating cities, which is a requirement of the ICG.
“Cities from as far reaching as Nairobi in Kenya and Alkmaar in Netherlands, to Los Angeles in the USA and Taipei in Taiwan, have accepted the invitation, and I am looking forward to welcoming them all to our City in December 2014 so the world can experience all that Lake Macquarie has to offer,” she said
“It is important to remember that the Games are so much more than simply competing. The broader ideals of understanding other cultures and creating international friendships are an important part of the ICG movement.”
The number of participants is expected to be the highest since the 2010 Games, with 77 cities attending Lanarkshire Scotland 2011, 81 in Daegu Korea 2012 and 80 in Windsor Canada 2013.
NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events, George Souris, said the event was shaping up to be a great success.
“The NSW Government is proud to support this key addition to the 2014 NSW calendar, through our tourism and major events agency Destination NSW. International sporting competitions such as the International Children's Games help cement NSW's position as Australia's home of major sporting events,” he said.
The International Children's Games is a recognised member of the International Olympic Committee and is the largest multi-sport youth games in the world for athletes aged 12-15 years, delivering a unique sports and cultural experience for young people.