THE man who pioneered the Arafura Games, Peter Ritchie, has died in Darwin of a heart attack, aged 62.
He brought the Arafura Games to Darwin in 1992 and also made a big impression on the Northern Territory’s indigenous communities in his 51 years in the north country.
He worked at Borroloola and Katherine in the mid-1970s and was in the Gulf of Carpentaria town when the first land claims were made in 1976.
Mr Ritchie was appointed the first general manager of the Arafura Sports Festival (later known as the Arafura Games) in 1991 and was instrumental in its early success.
He not only engaged and gained the participation of countries such as the Philippines, Thailand and Papua New Guinea but also added places like Cambodia to the athletes roster after some careful negotiating.