The National Primary Games are to be no more.
The Northern Inland Academy of Sport announced on Tuesday it was discontinuing the multi-sport festival.
Originally established in 2015 as a fundraiser for the academy and its pathway programs, the NIAS board cited a number of reasons including declining volunteers, competing sports schedules and increased financial impost for the 'difficult but necessary' decision not to continue with the event.
Held annually in July and bringing upwards of 2000 people to the city, the games were 'rested' in 2023 while an independent review was carried out.
The review, which included an extensive in-depth financial review and was undertaken by NIAS following the review of its Strategic Plan in 2022, made a number of recommendations including approaching key stakeholders - including sports partners and sponsors - to ascertain the feasibility of them taking on the co-ordination of the event.
However, after months of consultation, all requests were declined due to lack of resources.
"We understand that the decision announced today to discontinue the National Primary Games will be very disappointing for many young athletes and families across the region and state," Chair of the NIAS Board, Chris Ash said.
"Whilst it was a brilliant community event, which for many years had a positive economic impact for the local area, it was also exceptionally time consuming and financially exhausting for NIAS - ultimately deeming it unviable to continue."
"Foremost, a noticeable decline in the availability of volunteers due to volunteer fatigue, whose dedication and hard work have been the backbone of the event's success over the years, was a significant factor in this decision.
"Financial considerations also weighed heavily on this decision. The costs associated with organising and conducting an event of this magnitude have escalated significantly over time."
To the point that it was actually costing the organisation to host the event.
"The NIAS Board hope that the community understands that the decision was not made lightly and that every effort was made to find a way forward," Ash said.
NIAS CEO Shona Eichorn said while it is "undeniably a disappointing outcome" the decision was made "with the specific goal of long-term sustainability and success of NIAS in mind", and that the academy would "continue to focus its resources and efforts on facilitating the performance pathways, opportunities and access for our talented regional athletes and coaches to thrive and transition to higher levels of competition and performance".
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