Coronavirus Update 15th May 2020

Published: 15 May 2020

England Athletics have just issued guidance about using athletics tracks over the coming weeks. The club committee is meeting on Monday 18th (via a virtual link-up) to discuss how to respond to this guidance and to decide how much, if any, access to Horspath we are willing to allow. Please don’t get your hopes up – the rules are complex and the demands quite considerable, involving only one-on-one coaching, plus detailed instructions on deep cleaning, putting up new signs, new risk assessments to be prepared, first aid provision to be considered, and much else. At the moment there is sadly no prospect of an immediate return to club training. The only training permitted will be one-on-one, or training involving same-household members. The club may decide that, certainly for juniors, for practical and legal reasons it will be better to wait until we can resume training on a group basis. Some senior training may be possible; indeed some seniors are already training alone at their own risk, but we would not be able to allow large numbers on to the track, and certainly not juniors, without fully complying with the England Athletics guidance. Anything short of full compliance would see our insurance voided. I will update this news after Monday’s meeting.

At the same time, there is as yet no fresh word on competitions. We know that no competition will be permitted until the beginning of July at the earliest, and two club leagues have already cancelled all matches this season. When competition is resumed, and if that is at the beginning of July, then it is likely to be on a very restricted basis – eg involving only single age groups, or single events, with social distancing rules to be adhered to and still the problem of finding and persuading officials to officiate. So again, it is a complex issue which is unlikely to see us return to competition where we left off last September.

I will bring you up to date as soon as I can.

Richard Hart

Chairman, 15th May 2020 (7.20pm)

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