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India and Pakistan join Pacific School Games for first time in South Australia

Lifestyle

ELITE young athletes from China, India, Pakistan and New Zealand will be among 3500 students competing at the Pacific School Games in Adelaide, South Australia from Saturday.

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The teams, which also include Fiji, Macau, Cambodia, and one from each Australian state and territory will battle it out across nine sports such as swimming, basketball, soccer, table tennis and baseball.

The athletes, aged 10-19, will also participate in an education program which includes sessions at the University of Adelaide and visits to Adelaide Zoo and the maritime and aviation museums in historic Port Adelaide.

About 600 officials and up to 4000 parents and spectators are also expected to be in South Australia for the games.

Pacific School Games General Manager Les Rauert said the Adelaide event would be India and Pakistan’s first appearance at the games.

“The 2015 Games provides opportunities for students from Australia and overseas to benefit from participating in sport at the highest level. The Games also provide considerable educational, cultural and social benefits for all participants,” he said.

“The support of the South Australian Government and Events South Australia and the ability of the city to host multi-sport events made Adelaide the obvious choice for the 2015 Pacific School Games.”

The first Pacific School Games were held in 1982 as a preliminary event to the Brisbane Commonwealth Games and have been staged about every four years since.

The Adelaide 2015 Games, the ninth instalment, follows a seven-year break and will use a revised format that includes several more sports than the original track and field, swimming and diving.

Famous athletes who have previously competed at the games include Ian Thorpe, Cathy Freeman and Susie O’Neill.

The eight days of competition starts on Saturday, November 21, with the official opening ceremony being held at the Adelaide Showgrounds on Sunday, November 22.

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