The Tri State Games began in 1986 in the town of Mildura with staff and clients of the Christie Centre inviting other centres to come and enjoy some fun competition and social interaction.
The Games have been held each year since then at various regional areas including:
Horsham (2015/16), Murray Bridge (2013/14), Adelaide Hills(2011/12), Grampians (2009/10), Mildura (2007/08), Adelaide Hills (2005/2006), Echuca (2003/2004), Seymour (2002), Murray Bridge (2000/2001), Victor Harbor (1998/1999), Benalla (1996/1997), Riverland (1994/1995), Broken Hill (1992/1993), Wodonga (1989/1990/1991), Mildura (1986/ 1987/1988).
The Tri State Games have grown and developed over the years to become Australia’s largest ‘grass roots’ sporting event for people with a disability. Currently around 300 athletes compete each year for individual medals and awards. Each medal awarded counts for points which are allocated to their team. Teams are then able to win the coveted ‘Perpetual Shield’. Athletes are well supported by around 100 coaches, carers and other assistants from across the three states.
The Tri State Games are generally held for two years by a host region and are run for a week in November of each year.
One of the main attractions of the Tri State Games is that it offers an opportunity for people with a significant/profound disability to participate in sporting activities that they may generally not have had an opportunity to have.
The Tri State Games also provides disability awareness opportunities to the community hosting the games. Community awareness is generated through the training and inclusion of local volunteers, sporting and service clubs and community groups. The games begin with an opening ceremony that includes a street parade through the centre of town and the raising of the Tri State Games flag. A chosen athlete from the Host region then recites the athletes oath:
“In the name of all athletes, I promise, We can and we will do our best, at the Tri-State games, In the true spirit of friendship and sportsmanship”
Our statement of purpose is as follows;
- Encourage and promote sport to people with a disability residing in Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales.
- Provide people with a disability the opportunity to compete against their peers in a range of sporting activities.
- Encourage participation in sport as a means of improving health, fitness and quality of life for people with a disability.
- Provide a respite option for families and carers who support people with a disability.
- Encourage people with a disability to pursue sporting interests in mainstream competition.
- Promote the sporting achievements of people with a disability to the broader community.