LONDON, ONT. -- Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries Lisa MacLeod announced Friday morning that the Ontario Summer Games in London, which were postponed due to COVID-19, will be held in 2021.

The August long weekend in 2020 was scheduled to be when athletes would take part in the Ontario Summer Games, but then COVID-19 swept the world and shut down sporting events.

The games were rescheduled until next summer, and there is now an official date, July 29 to Aug. 1, 2021.

"Our industries were hit first, the hardest, and are expected to take the longest to recover," MacLeod said in a statement. "That is why it is critical that we continue to invest in sporting events that showcase our homegrown athletic talent and put our tourism industry on a path to recovery."

The province has commtted $1 million to the games, which are expected to draw more than 3,000 participants, and could mean over $5 million injected into the economy.

MacLeod was joined by London Mayor Ed Holder and Dave De Kelver, general manager of the games, for the announcement.

Holder added that the city has proven it can be a world-class host, with top facilities and dedicated volunteers, and says the bar will be set even higher next year.

"Sports have the power to inspire and unite and I absolutely cannot wait for the Ontario Summer Games to do both when they come to London in 2021."