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  • Federal Member for La Trobe, Jason Wood with the members of the local community at Pakenham in Melbourne’s southeast. (Supplied)
A $120,000 event grant from the Australian government will go towards the staging of the 32nd Annual Australian Sikh Games to be held in Melbourne this year.
15 Mar 2019 - 5:14 PM  UPDATED 15 Mar 2019 - 5:26 PM

The Australian government has announced $120,000 financial assistance for the Australian Sikh Games to be held in Melbourne in April 2019.

Funding for the Sikh games is part of the Australian Government’s Mutual Understanding, Support, Tolerance, Engagement and Respect (MUSTER) initiative.

Federal Member for La Trobe, Jason Wood announced this financial assistance while addressing the local community leaders at Pakenham in Melbourne’s southeast on Saturday, 9th February.

“The Australian Government is proud to support the Games – the largest event for the Australian Sikh community,” said Mr Wood  

“This offers all Australians the opportunity to experience and embrace the rich Sikh cultural heritage.” 

Dalvinder Singh Garcha, President of the Games Organising Committee, thanked the federal government for this financial assistance.

“It is amazing to see this overwhelming support. We are very thankful for this major financial boost,” he told SBS Punjabi.

“We are glad that government acknowledges our presence as a growing community that is contributing at both social and economic levels.”  

Over 100,000 people are expected for the weekend of sports which is to be held at a range of venues throughout the City of Casey in April 2019. 

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Mr Garcha told SBS Punjabi that the event is made possible with the help of community organisations from all around Australia.

“These organisations are normally run by volunteers who want to actively contribute to their local Sikh community while also coaching or competing in their chosen sport," he said.

“We’re talking about a huge carnival where more than 3,000 athletes and over 100,000 spectators are expected during the games.

“We’ve set a budget of nearly $600,000. It also includes the expenditure on free food and drinks [Langar] for the attendees over three days of sports and cultural extravaganza.

“We request all the community members to come forward not only to support this event but also to make 2019 Australian Sikh Games a big success. We’re now looking for volunteers and sponsorship's to run this event.” 

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The 32nd Annual Australian Sikh Games will be held from 19-21 April 2019 in Melbourne.

The Australian Sikh Games are held every year in capital cities and major regional areas around Australia.

Last year’s games at Sydney attracted more than 100,000 people.

Around 135,000 visitors from India visited Victoria in the 12 months ending September 2017, spending $373 million – a 29 per cent increase on the previous 12 months. 

Listen to SBS Punjabi Monday to Friday at 9 pm. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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