Track renovation puts the NT in spotlight

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A multimillion dollar renovation has restored the Arafura Stadium track to its former glory and has the Northern Territory poised to capitalise on upcoming national and international meets.

The new $2.6 million athletics track is now open and will host the Territory Athletics Championships from 3-5 November, which will attract about 300 participants from across Australia.

Minister for Sport, Kate Worden said the resurfacing of the track to international standards was significant for the Northern Territory.

“Not only is the resurfacing great for our local athletes, it continues to make the Northern Territory a genuine option for national and international championships meets and pre-competition camps,” she said.

“With the 2026 Commonwealth Games in Ballarat and the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics in Brisbane, the Northern Territory is again in a position to attract the superstars of international athletics to help them prepare for these blue riband competitions.

“Sport forms such a core part of what it is to be a Territorian and I’m delighted the Northern Territory Government has been able to deliver the new athletics track.”

The resurfacing, delivered by Polytan Asia Pacific, saw the existing track removed, the bottom layer of bitumen scraped back, new bitumen laid and a state-of-the-art Rekortan M surface laid on top.

It restores the Northern Territory as having a ‘class 2 world athletics certified facility’ which is one step below the mega-stadium at Sydney Olympic Park.

Executive Officer of Athletics NT, Leanne Chin, said the new surface was a much needed ‘shot in the arm’ for athletics in the Top End.

“My phone has been ringing off the hook with people from across Australia wanting to know when the track will reopen,” she said.

“I’ve spoken to representatives from Athletics Australia and the Oceania Championships about the project because they realise how vital it is to have a world class track on the doorstep of Asia.

“The Northern Territory is back in the game as an athletics destination of choice in Australia.”

Ms Chin said she wanted to give a special thank you to Essington Primary School who has hosted Athletics NT as a temporary home while the upgrade was being completed.

Work on the stadium began in July and was completed earlier this month.

L-R: Director Sport Assets and Venue Management, Danny DePaul and Acting General Manager Sport, Recreation and Strategic Infrastructure, Ian Ford at the track.

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