Keilor Gift on ice

Runners in action at a previous gift. (Shawn Smits)

Tara Murray

The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed another victim, with this year’s Keilor Gift cancelled.

After a tremulous few years for the event that resulted in the event being cancelled in 2017, the organisers decided not to go ahead with this year’s event.

Gift chairman Hayden Kelly said they made the call back in August that due to the pandemic that it would be too hard to organise the event due to the uncertainty.

In a letter to sponsors, organisers said they were mindful of the financial impact on sponsors, which played a part in their decision.

“The last few weeks have proved that,” he said.

“There’s nothing sinister about the decision. We went through everything in August and we decided to put it into recess for the year.”

The 2020 event was reduced to a one-day event because of funding cuts, having run as a two day festival the previous two years.

As reported by the Star Weekly, there were doubts about the future of the event due to further funding cuts predicted for this year and beyond.

Mr Kelly said they had decided to cancel the event before they went through the process of applying for funding for the 2021 event.

“Hopefully we are back to normal next year,” he said.

The event is the second gift in Brimbank to be cancelled, with the St Albans Gift also not going ahead.

The Maribyrnong Gift, held at Braybrook, is scheduled to go ahead on January 31.