The PanHellenic Games in Darwin will go ahead, despite huge budget cuts from the Greek government, president of the Greek Orthodox Community of Northern Territory (GOCNT) John Nicolakis said.
The opening ceremony of the games is scheduled for Thursday September 29, while the two days of games will be held on Friday September 30 and Saturday October 1.
Sunday October 2 will be a big party, Mr Nicolakis said.
The president told Neos Kosmos the community is expecting between 500 and 600 athletes from all over Australia and New Zealand, competing in about eight games, including soccer, tennis, basketball, swimming and judo. There cannot be any more than 600 athletes competing due to limited funding, Mr Nicolakis said.
“We’re not getting much funding from Greece, the Northern Territory government is our major sponsor and we’re trying to find sponsors to help us cover the cost,” he said.
The games will cost around $500,000 to host. A local bus company has donated their services to pick up the athletes from the airport and transport them to venues, while a Greek businessman in Darwin has donated accomodation for 300 athletes, half of which is needed.
“Accomodation for the athletes is our biggest expense,” Mr Nicolakis said.
Despite the financial restraints Mr Nicolakis is confident, saying “I think we’ll have a good games”.