England Athletics Release Details on Return to Racing

EA release guidance and it;s not gone down well!

Governing body releases lengthy document on a return to restricted track and field competition in August. No races further than 1500m, which could require athletes to start at 200m intervals, plus 800m events run completely in lanes and sterilised sand for horizontal jumps looks set to be the future of the sport for now under England Athletics guidance released on Friday.

Following government guidelines published the week before, the national governing body has released a lengthy document giving guidance on a return to restricted track and field competition ‘in a Covid-19 secure setting’.

It relates only to track and field competition, with guidance from Run Britain for road and multi-terrain race organisers still yet to be released. The guidance has cause up roar amongst coaches of all age categories and athletes alike. For example nothing over 1500m can currently take place, with the 800m limited to every other lane for whole race!

Included in the 46-page track and field document is event-specific guidance, which states that only every other lane should be used for all track events, with a social distancing requirement of at least one metre between individuals.

Athletes in 800m races must remain in their lane the whole way. The document adds that licensed competition will resume on August 1, subject to successful pilot events which launched on July 11.

In order for a setting to be considered ‘Covid-19 secure’, it must have a Covid-19 officer and develop a Covid action plan and risk assessment. All activity must also comply with government guidance around social distancing. Further details are available on a separate document found here.

This is getting ridiculous!. You can travel abroad and race but can’t race here. Can’t believe I’ve been waiting all week for this, more confusing and no progress. How on earth can you even consider having a British champs if this is what we are working with?

England athletics are penalising athletes that would do their events, if you could go abroad and race you’re in a much better position. GB international Jess Judd on Twitter

I think what has annoyed everyone is that football at grassroots can return but races in a small bubble cant without draconian measures. Everyone is pointing to fact that money speaks volumes and why football should be back to normal but track & field will be restricted by the looks of it until next year now.

England Athletics released the following bullet points as a brief overview:

  • Clubs, groups and coaching/leading activity can now take place in unlimited numbers if it is within a Covid-19 secure environment, otherwise the limit of groups of six (including a coach or leader) remains. Each coach is able to train 12 people at one time so in a club/running group setting, multiple coaching/training groups can be run if the requisite number of coaches/leaders are present.
  • Different rules apply for those working with young people under 18. Please read and implement the government guidance.
  • Informal activity or that outside the Covid secure environment must still be within two household units or groups of no more than 6.
  • Social distancing and hygiene is still to be maintained and is key within a training involvement.
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