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Northern Territory Government rules out hosting of Alice Springs Masters and Arafura Games for two years

Northern Territory Government rules out hosting of Alice Springs Masters and Arafura Games for two years
June 2, 2020

The Northern Territory has ruled out staging the Alice Springs Masters and Arafura Games in 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.

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

Minister Fyles noted "it is unrealistic to expect that next year we will have an event where athletes come from around the region to participate."

Northern Territory Tourism Minister Lauren Moss said the postponement of the Alice Springs Masters was also a casualty of the ongoing coronavirus border restrictions, adding "around 42% of the participants come from interstate."

One of the first Northern Territory 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.

Tourism Northern Territory’s Executive General Manager Marketing, Tony Quarmby commented "the Territory is home to some of the most unique events in Australia and the Uluru Camel Cup is no exception

“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.”

Images; Opening ceremony of the Arafura Games in 2019 (top) and the Alice Springs Masters in 2016 (below). Courtesy of Tourism NT.

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