The 2021 Special Olympic Great Britain National Summer Games in Liverpool have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Competition was due to take place in August next year, with more than 2,000 athletes set to participate.
The decision to postpone the event was made by the 2021 National Summer Games Board after consideration of the changing situation regarding coronavirus, which has now infected nearly six million people and killed more than 365,000 worldwide.
Key stakeholders such as the Special Olympics GB Board, staff, athlete leadership team, home-country representatives and the Organising Committee were also consulted.
Given the heightened risk to the athletes with intellectual disabilities and the fundraising challenges caused by the pandemic, postponement was deemed to be the best decision.
"While this has been a difficult decision to make, we believe it is in the best interests of everyone connected with the Games that it is postponed from August 2021," said Denise Barrett-Baxendale, chair of the 2021 National Summer Games Board.
"We know this will be disappointing and appreciate that many people were looking forward to this sporting showcase taking place in our city next year.
"We will now work with organisers and stakeholders across the city to gain an understanding of any future potential dates we could stage this inspirational multi-sport tournament."
Work is currently underway to review alternative options for the rescheduling of the event, with a commitment from all parties to deliver a safe and high quality Games for all Special Olympics GB athletes, volunteers and partners.
"The National Summer Games are an absolute highlight for our athletes, volunteers, coaches, families and corporate partners," said Paul Richardson, chairman of Special Olympics GB Board of Trustees.
"We are very sorry it has had to be postponed.
"However, to run a National Games in August 2021 would not be in the best interest of the health and well-being of our athletes - who are our priority.
"On behalf of Special Olympics GB, huge thanks to everyone involved for their efforts to date especially Liverpool City Council and the National Summer Games Board.
"The dedication, support and hard work they have already invested in hosting the biggest and best National Summer Games to date in Britain are very much appreciated."