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England Athletics Covid-19 Update

Posted: 20th Jun 2020 by Lewis Smith

Changes to Training and Coaching:

Exercise outdoors only in groups of up to 6 people providing athletes/runners maintain social distancing advice i.e. 2m apart if from a different household.

A coach and up to 5 athletes or runners can train together provided they maintain social distancing i.e. 2m apart if from a different household.

Advice for young, masters and disabled runners and athletes is contained in the athlete guidance document.

Further information is available here: https://www.englandathletics.org/athletics-and-running/news/guidance-update-step-2/

 

Update on Competitions (17 June 2020):

Martin Rush, Head of Coaching and Athlete Development, explains: “On behalf of everyone at England Athletics, we are delighted to share our plan to return to limited track and field competition below. This is written knowing that any step back to competition needs to be taken carefully and in full recognition of, and adherence to, government guidance that is in place at the time on Covid-19. It is very likely to change over the coming weeks and we will update if and when necessary.

England Athletics is aware of the desire for information about the potential competition season for track and field, and following rapidly on from that cross country, road, fell and trail. We are also aware that any return to competition needs a training phase prior to it.  We will continue to work with British Athletics and the other Home Countries to provide guidance about how we transition back to activity and the potential for a shortened competition season. We would like to emphasise that this is not a starting gun for ‘normal’ track and field training to take place as per pre-Coronavirus. The current government exercise guidelines are clear, and England Athletics and the other Home Countries support this messaging.

 

General Considerations:

Athletes will need to be prepared properly before they undertake any competition. Coaches, club managers and parents (where relevant) should ensure any athlete is confident that they are ready to compete.

UKA has undertaken an officials’ survey which details the current availability of officials for competition.  Event organisers will need to ensure all mitigation and wellbeing factors are in place prior to a competition taking place and that these are communicated to officials beforehand.

Flexibility around the number and level of officials will be needed: this may affect licensing options (Updates to follow).

Venues are obviously a key part of competition and the venue’s management must be confident that they have undertaken the relevant risk assessments and initially err on the side of caution with regards to numbers and events to ensure the risk is managed.

This whole process must be considered as a phased return, where pilot events lead to small local events, then potentially regional and possibly national. It is likely that numbers at each event will be restricted, age groups may be restricted and certain events not possible in the early stages.

Safety, wellbeing and confidence in the systems and organisation of events should be our watch words and actions.

 

Timeline:

4 July: Timetabled release of the next government advice: framework reviewed as a result.

7 July: Planned release of limited return to track and field competition guidance which will include details of the licensing process and information about running a competition in light of any new government guidance (Given the short time between 4 and 7 July this date may move).

7-19 July: Short period of pilot events organised with identified competition providers to test out systems and provide learning for other competition providers.

25 July: Potential for local competition to take place, probably small numbers and restricted disciplines.

Further information available here: https://www.englandathletics.org/athletics-and-running/news/update-on-competition-planning-2020/

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