NT sporting events ruled out for two years

The Alice Springs Masters and Arafura Games have been ruled out for 2020 and 2021 respectively due to continued uncertainty around coronavirus travel bans and budgetary constraints.

The Arafura Games has been delayed until at least 2023, while the Alice Springs Masters Games will be held in 2022

Bringing teams from dozens of countries around the world to Darwin to compete in a wide range of sports, the Arafura Games was only revived in 2019 after an eight year hiatus.

Arafura Games Minister Natasha Fyles said with interstate travel still banned planning for the games in 2021 posed “an unacceptable level of risk of previously committed taxpayer funds”.

“It is unrealistic to expect that next year we will have an event where athletes come from around the region to participate,” she said.

Tourism Minister Lauren Moss said the postponement of the Alice Springs Masters was also a casualty of the ongoing coronavirus border restrictions.

“Around 42 per cent of the participants come from interstate,” Moss said.

One of the first NT events on this year’s calendar to be given the go ahead was the 2020 Uluru Camel Cup, which was broadcast live on YouTube last week.

“The Territory is home to some of the most unique events in Australia and the Uluru Camel Cup is no exception,” said Tourism Northern Territory’s executive general manager marketing Tony Quarmby.

“Given the current climate, the online broadcast of the 2020 Uluru Camel Cup is a great alternative to the real thing, and a chance for us to give the rest of Australia and the world a taste of just one of our outback events.

“At a time when the desire to escape and holiday dreaming is at its peak, this event will help keep the Northern Territory front of mind and inspire travel to this iconic Australian landmark as well as to future events in the Northern Territory when travel and events are once again possible.”