Guidance update for restricted return to activity (for coaches, leaders, athletes, runners and facilities) – step 2

June 2020

COVID activity return guidance infographic

Following the new government advice on 28 May 2020 easing lockdown restrictions, groups of up to six people from different households will be able to meet outside in England from Monday 1 June (maintaining social distancing guidelines of 2m apart).

As a result, we have updated our guidance documents:

  1. Guidance for athletes and runners return to activity
  2. Guidance for coaches and leaders return to activity
  3. Guidance for athletic venues return to activity

The summarised changes are below:

What it means for athletics and running

  • 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.

Click here to download Guidance for Athletes and Runners – return to restricted activity (PDF 220kB)

Where

Public outdoor spaces including any outdoor athletics venues that are open plus gardens.

Number of people

Up to 6 people

Clubs

  • A Covid-19 co-ordinator identified in each club to take responsibility for club plan and undertake the relevant risk assessments. Click here for the Risk Assessment documents.  These risk assessments and club plans must be in place before any activity can take place in order for insurance to be valid.
  • In order for a club’s insurance to be valid, the club needs to be affiliated to England Athletics.
  • Clubs should consider, as an alternative, virtual options for large group training/ coaching and committee meetings.
  • Clubs should continue to liaise with venue operators for updates and guidance.
  • Club activity can then begin as per each individual club’s plan based on government and England Athletics’ advice.

Coaches

  • Online coaching can continue.
  • Small group coaching outdoors of up to 6 people including the coach providing you maintain social distancing i.e. 2m apart if from a different household
  • You must complete a risk assessment before sessions take place. Click here for Risk Assessment documents.
  • Coaches must have an up to date valid coach licence and be coaching within their qualification boundaries – this will ensure that all coached sessions are covered by insurance.
  • Familiarise yourself with national and local venue guidance
  • Follow the coach code of conduct

Click here for Guidance for Athletics Venues – return to restricted activity (PDF 200kB)

Click here for Guidance for Coaches – return to restricted activity (PDF 270kB)

Venues

  • Outdoor venues may open with social distancing measures put into place and Covid-19 secure guidelines followed.
  • Operate online booking for the track where at all possible, or alternatively phone bookings. Take online or card payment.
  • No changing rooms or social spaces open.
  • No Jumps.

We are gathering more insight on jumps.  There remain some concerns around the ability to clean these facilities robustly to maintain hygiene standards. We are working with UKA and when we have a solution, we will update the guidance as quickly as possible.

Click here for Guidance for Athletics Venues – return to restricted activity (PDF 200kB)

Track and Field Competition

Road Running

  • Small group training outdoors only in groups of up to 6 people providing 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.
  • No face-to-face competition permitted – England Athletics is running a series of virtual running competitions and challenges.
  • Advice for young, masters and disabled runners and athletes is contained in the athlete guidance document.

Click here for Guidance for Athletes and Runners – return to restricted activity (PDF 220kB)


Over the coming days and weeks, we will be looking to move the suspension of jumps to jumps with restrictions, along with providing guidance for Road Running and Affiliated clubs.


All parties should note the following disclaimer:

Please note that the subject matter covered in this guidance is in no way exhaustive and the material does not stand on its own nor is intended to be relied upon as a substitute for obtaining specific legal advice. Individual circumstances will differ. The information contained in this guidance is given in good faith but any liability of England Athletics Limited or its professional advisors (including their respective members or employees) to you or any third party which may arise out of the reliance by you or any other party of the contents of this guidance is hereby excluded to the fullest extent permitted by law. England Athletics Limited and its professional advisors accept no duty of care or liability for any loss occasioned, whether caused by negligence or otherwise, to any person acting or refraining from actions as a result of any material in this guidance. We would strongly recommend that you consult professional advisors on specific issues before acting or refraining from action on any of the contents of this guidance.


These guidance documents have been prepared by England Athletics Limited

© England Athletics Limited 2020. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material from these publications is permissible only when attributed to England Athletics.

IMPORTANT UPDATE FROM ENGLAND ATHLETICS

Athlete Registration Packs go digital from 1st April 2020

Hand with phone showing affiliation site

We recognise the importance of embracing digital innovation to respond to changing demands and we are always seeking ways to evolve and enhance the user experience for our athletes.

As part of our digital strategy we ran a trial during 2019/20 to send out digital athlete registration membership packs by email and also gave athletes the option to opt-out of receiving physical registration packs.  This trial proved successful so when our new affiliation year starts on the 1st April 2020, we will be sending out all registration packs to athletes in digital form, via email, rather than sending printed packs.

The new digital registration packs will benefit athletes by:

  • Enabling them to have key information, including their digital registration card with unique registration number (URN), at their fingertips. The digital pack can be viewed on desktop computer but is also optimised for use on tablet and mobile devices, meaning athletes can access information when on-the-go.
  • Allowing athletes to save their digital registration card to their desktop, tablet or phone meaning they can easily access their URN details at the click of a button.
  • Faster delivery of registration packs (within 48 hours of registration) and we are also able to update the content of the packs throughout the year, meaning new or re-registering athletes will be supplied with the most up-to-date information and partner offers.

England Athletics is committed to sustainable practices as an organisation and limiting our paper printing not only reduces our carbon footprint but also helps us to relocate funds to support our members.  We will also be reducing waste as a number of physical packs are returned to us each year when athlete postal address details have not been updated or are incorrect.

Important information for athletes:

If you are an existing member and are renewing membership, please ensure that your club has the most up-to-date email address for you.  Please also login to your member profile via the myAthletics portal to check your email address is up-to-date ASAP.

For new athlete registrations, athletes must ensure they have provided their club with an up-to-date email address so that it can be included in the registration process.

If we do not receive an email address for you, or your email address is incorrect or out-of-date, then you will not receive your registration pack.

Thank you for your assistance and if you have any queries about the digital registration packs then please contact Member Services on registration@englandathletics.org

You can also click here to find out more about the range of benefits available to you as an England Athletics registered athlete.

England Athletics Member Services

Coronavirus Statement (Updated 24 March 2020)

**Athletics in England suspension extended until 31 May 2020**

Following the further restrictions on movement put in place by the UK Government last night, UKA and the Home Country Athletics Federations have made the following updates to our previous statement issued on 17 March:

  1. Extending the suspension of all athletics activity in England to the 31 May. [Initially this had been agreed to the end of April]. This suspension includes all organised athletics activity in the UK, including all competitions, formal club activities, running groups, and all Education activity (coach, official, teacher).

2. Strengthening our position on coaching activity – We are now mandating that all physical coaching ceases, and only be conducted via virtual means during this period. Bringing groups of people together to train, however small, can no longer be permitted under the strict ‘Stay at home’ measures implemented by the UK Government.

These decisions have not been taken lightly and have been made in light of the continuing and real risk to life and to the NHS posed by the spread of the COVID-19 virus in England. We must now do all we can do. We would ask that the athletics community in England continues to help one another by staying connected and supportive of each other whilst at home in these unprecedented times. We will continue to review the situation in line with Government and Public Health guidance.

In addition to providing clarity to clubs, athletes, runners, coaches and officials, we are acutely aware that a number of competition providers have already made the bold decision to postpone their events in recognition that they stand to incur additional contractual costs on facilities that they have booked should they not make that decision now. We will continue to review this decision as the government guidance evolves, but one thing is clear – and that is that athletics, running and sport in general is special and is an important contributor to our way of life, but it is very much secondary to protecting and saving lives at this current time.

In its latest measures to contain the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), the UK Government has announced that everyone must now stay at home except in exceptional circumstances.

From last night (Monday 23 March), the only permissible reasons to leave your home are as follows:

To shop for basic necessities and that should be limited to once a day

To take exercise once a day – but alone or with those you live with, no gatherings of more than two people

For medical reasons or to care for a vulnerable person

To travel to essential work if that cannot be done at home. Further guidance to employers is pending.

While athletics is predominantly an outdoor sport that allows athletes to exercise in the fresh air, the message to all of us is clear, we must play our part in containing the spread of COVID-19. We urge our members to utilise the opportunity to exercise as laid out by both governments, but as such, any informal small group training sessions of athletes or face-to-face coached sessions must now cease (*unless they are with your own household members as above).

We have witnessed some very creative home and/or garden-based training sessions (safely of course) during the last week, and we would urge clubs and coaches to continue to be innovative during this period. A number of schools have also been task setting for their pupils and it would be of immense value to continue to engage athletes and your members in similar style tasks for athletics.

There are numerous ways in which people can remain active whether that be core strength training at home, HIIT, Circuits, running and so on (whilst adhering to the government guidance) so we will be actively promoting these. We will of course be pushing out digital content relating to exercising at home during this week thanks to the work of our respective coaching and athlete development team members.

England Athletics CEO Chris Jones comments: “We all have a responsibility to play our part in mitigating risk and in reducing the spread of this virus. It will be deflating to many but if we do pull together and adhere to the guidance issued then we will come through this period. In the meantime we will be working tirelessly as partners to provide value to our member clubs, athletes, runners, coaches and volunteers and will be organising activities and providing resources utilising a range of methods such as online forums, webinars and podcasts that will help people prepare for a time when we can all look forward with renewed optimism as an Athletics & Running family.”

These decisions are difficult ones to make, but right now, it is our shared responsibility to prioritise the health of our local communities by working together to follow the Government guidelines. In doing so, this will ensure that we all get back to competing in the sport we love so much sooner.

Stay Safe!

Blackhill Bounders Committee