THIS week marks 500 days until AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 and less than 100 days until the Special Olympics 2013 Asia Pacific Games are held in Newcastle.
The opportunity to host these events in our city is a massive win for Newcastle and the Hunter region.
Newcastle will be the only regional city in Australia to host games as part of the 2015 Asian Cup - the largest sporting event in Asia and the biggest football tournament ever hosted in Australia.
Our city will be front and centre for a TV audience of up to 2.5 billion people and it is a great chance for
Newcastle to shine on a global stage.
The Hunter has long been a heartland of football in Australia and our region's 51,000 registered junior players will see this tradition continue long into the future.
The Newcastle Jets are also a very strong force in Australia's top tier football competition, the Hyundai A League.
The Jets provide an important pathway for our region's aspiring football stars to achieve their dreams.
The Special Olympics 2013 Asia Pacific Games start in December and will bring 2000 athletes with intellectual disabilities from 32 countries to Newcastle.
Events like this can only be successful with the help of residents and businesses who volunteer their time to help make a difference.
Staff and supporters from organisations like the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, Hunter TAFE and the Newcastle Knights are already on board.
To find out more, go to specialolympicsasiapacgames2013.com.