Update on competition planning 2020

NOTE SOME INFORMATION MAY HAVE BEEN SUPERCEDED – Go to 4 August information

England Athletics’ position as of 17 June 2020 (subject to change based on further planning and UK government updates in relation to Covid-19)

Since releasing a potential return to competition framework in agreement with UKA and the other Home Countries on 4 May, this framework has been under continual review and an updated version is released today (17 June).

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.”

General considerations:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Flexibility around the number and level of officials will be needed: this may affect licensing options. (Updates to follow)
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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

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 – click here for the latest guidance updates.

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Return to competition table hi res JPG

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Click here to download a PDF version of the table

Table Key:

  • U11 Multi-event Within club, multi-event team-based formats with relays. EA will provide a potential format and resources where needed
  • U13 Within club and between clubs, multi-event team-based formats with relays and standard competitions
  • U15 to Senior: County Open Festivals (Short programme meets performance graded), Inter Club, County Champs, Event specific formats | Regional and Area level competition; Inter Club, one day meets or timetables that enable one day competition, event specific | National level competition; Inter Club, event specific, one day meets.

It is our wish, and I am sure all the athletics community’s wish, that competition is possible through the end of summer and into the autumn period.

Competition providers are encouraged to work with venues and Nichola Skedgel, Competition Innovation and Partnership Manager nskedgel@englandathletics.org  and Martin Rush, Head of Coaching and Athlete Development mrush@englandathletics.org through this next period to enable a transition to competition to take place.  Please note that Competitions Manager Andy Day aday@englandathletics.org , will return on 2 July 2020.

If you have any thoughts, considerations or feedback that you would like to raise with regard to the above update then we welcome this – please scroll down and use the online comments form at the bottom of this page.

Stay safe and well and I look forward to seeing people at various track and field competitions around England this summer.

Martin Rush
Head of Coaching and Athlete Development


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