Athletics competition planning

Martin Rush, Head of Coaching and Athlete Development at England Athletics, has provided an update below on athletics competition planning as we continue to prepare beyond the current lockdown.

With England in national lockdown until Wednesday 2 December 2020, we want to assure all of the athletics community that work is continuing around competition planning beyond that date.

Our current assumption is that we will return to a tier structure around the country from Thursday 3 December 2020 and, if that is the case, we will re-adopt the guidance for tiers that we put out at the beginning of November.

Indoor Track and Field

In the week starting Monday 7 December 2020 [or earlier if we can], we are planning to release indoor event guidance, an indoor season competition framework, and continue our planning for some pre-Christmas indoor pilot events. We are looking to open licensing for indoor competition in early January 2021.

We are working with indoor venues on event management and risk assessment plans. Competition organisers looking to potentially host a pilot event before Christmas or after licencing opens, but in early January, should contact Nichola Skedgel at nskedgel@englandathletics.org

The announcement from England Athletics in the week starting Monday 7 December 2020 will reflect the information we will receive from government as we come out of national restrictions.

The British Indoor Championships are being planned (20/21 February) and we will work with competition providers and venues to ensure that athletes can prepare for that event.  We will also release a decision on the England Indoor Combined Events Championships (scheduled for 9/10 January) and depending on the government guidance potentially the England younger age group Championships as well.

England Athletics will do everything we can to host an indoor Championships for the younger age groups.  We know that athletes have missed out on last summer’s national events but if travel restrictions are in place, meaning athletes cannot physically get to an event (e.g. tier 1 to tier 3 travel is restricted), we know it would not be fair to host a National Championship Event.

We also know that providing clarity for preparation and planning not least for our event team and officials, but of course the athletes and coaches as well, is important. If we are not able to host a National Championship our aim will be to run more local events at the indoor venues we can access.  We will also continue to licence outdoor track and field competitions throughout winter if organisers want to put events on.

Cross country

Licensing for cross country events continues, although actual events are suspended until Wednesday 2 December.  Two pilot events were held prior to the national lockdown that were well managed and provided a safe competitive experience for the athletes and all taking part.  England Athletics are hosting a cross country planning and Q&A webinar on Tuesday 1 December.  Details will be released through the England Athletics website.

Road running, trail, and fell

Licensing for these events continues either for virtual events, up to Wednesday 2 December and real events after that date. Please refer to the respective association/organisation websites for details.  England Athletics will be working with each of these organisations to plan for post December 2 restrictions.