Indonesia will make history from the 18th – 26th of October 2008 when it plays host to the first Asian Beach Games in the world. Bali will become the venue of this international event which will see 45 countries participating with over 10,000 athletes, officials, media and volunteers all flocking to the Island of the Gods for this world class event.

In a press conference conducted at Puri Santrian Hotel in Sanur, President of The National Olympic Committee of Indonesia (KONI), Ibu Rita Subowo officially announced and briefed the press about the preparations underway for the Asian Beach Games 2008 which will mark the largest event ever hosted in Bali.

“Through the Asian Beach Games 2008, Bali will become the focal point of Sporting Tourism in Asia. Apart from strengthening Bali as one of the known tourist destinations in the world, it will also empower Indonesia as a leading sporting nation in Asia.” Said the Governor of Bali, Bpk Dewa Made Beratha.

Ibu Rita Subowo added, “It is a huge honour for Indonesia to be selected to be the host to such a historic sporting event. Bali is the perfect venue for the Asian Beach Games and as this event is the first of its kind in the world, Indonesia is ready to show the rest of the world our true hospitality by welcoming all the athletes, officials and all involved to our great country to witness the spirit of the Asian Beach Games 2008. We are confident that everyone attending will be impressed and we hope to leave a lasting impression in the minds of all.”

Over 50,000 people are expected to support their participating countries in the 13 sports that will compete in this first time event entrusted by the Olympic Council of Asia. The areas of Kuta, Sanur, Pulau Serangan, Tanjung Benoa and Jimbaran have all been selected to act as the venues for each of the sports. Beach Volley Ball, Surfing, Jet Skiing, Sailing, Wind Surfing, Beach Takraw, Beach Hand Ball, Beach Soccer, Para Gliding, Dragon Boat Racing, Triathlon, Marathon Swimming, and the new sport, Wood Ball are the sports to be competed in.

The Asian Beach Games is a multi-sport event held every two years among athletes representing countries from Asia. The games celebrate cooperation and unity despite differences where athletes from a wide variety of nations are able to travel, meet new people, and bring back memories about the rest of the world to their home nations. The Asian Beach Games forge unity and friendship between their member nations by joining athletes, trainers, and officials together.

Many international beach sporting events are organized every year in Bali. But games like the Asian Beach Games, requires a specific plan with concentrated efforts involving governmental and non governmental sectors for its success. To steer these diversified activities, the Bali Asian Beach Games Organizing Committee (BABGOC) was formed in March 2006.

BABGOC, under the patronage of KONI and the city of Bali, in close cooperation with the Indonesian Government, is working diligently to meet the preparation schedules and expectations to stage and operate a sustainable Asian Beach Games, leading to a long-term legacy.

“We also hope to increase awareness for the Indonesian youth and sports enthusiasts and those across Asia through enhancing quality of life, instilling pride and attaining international prestige and recognition through beach sports.” Said Ibu Rita Subowo, Chairman of KONI.

Source: Asian Beach Games