The Alice Springs Masters Games has been postponed until 2024, marking the third time the event has been cancelled.
The biennial games were slated to be held next October for the first time in five years, but Major Events Minister Paul Kirby confirmed the games would be postponed to 2024.
Kirby said the government was focusing on making the 2024 event “the best games yet’.
“A minimum number of sports and volunteers are needed for the Alice Springs Masters Games to be a meaningful experience for all concerned,” Kirby said.
“We are now working on making that happen in 2024.”
While Covid restrictions forced the cancellation of the last two games event organisers are blaming a lack of staff behind the latest blow.
A spokesman for the event told NT News the 12-month delay will give the Alice Springs sporting community “time to rebuild staff and volunteer numbers”.
“After careful consideration and continued close consultation with the Red Centre sporting community, ASMG 2023 has been rescheduled to 12-19 October, 2024,” he said.
“The difficult decision was made due to a number of reasons, including the capacity of some sports to take part.
“Like organisations and businesses around the country, many sports are experiencing severe staff and volunteer shortages.
“All the sports were consulted about this decision, through their sporting co-ordinators, and 88.5 per cent of sports preferred a 2024 Masters.”
Country Liberal Party major events spokesman Josh Burgoyne said Alice Springs was “being left behind”.
“The reality is Alice Springs is being left behind as other events are going on across the Northern Territory,” he told NT News.
“It’s a real shame for sportspeople in Alice Springs.
“The government has basically forgotten about the Masters Games for years.”