Category Archives: News

Notice of club meeting!

Wednesday 17th November at Blackhill Bowls Club 7pm.

Now that most of us have been able to enter some races and restrictions have been lifted, we want to look at what we can do to move the club forward for 2022 and beyond. We want everyone to share their ideas on what they want from the club and what they can do to help.

We’ve arranged a meeting on the 17th of November at 7PM, for you to come and share your thoughts and ideas, as well as having a drink!

Before coming along, it would be great if you could do a couple of things. 

  1. Please confirm your email address is correct, we need that, or we can’t send anything to you because of GDPR rules.
  2. And most importantly, let us know if you have any questions or ideas about what the club should be doing. 

We want your thoughts on things like,

  • What kind of training nights do you want? E.g., Structured training sessions, long Sunday runs?
    • Where do we want to meet? 
    • Do you want to take part in team events? E.g., Harrier League Cross Country, Relays etc?
    • What races do you want to arrange trips to? E.g., Blyth Sands 5th December.
    • What do you think we should do about membership fees? It was £15 this year which covered the England Athletics fee.
    • Or anything else you want to talk about.

As well as your ideas, please let us know what you are able and willing to do to help arrange all of this. The club is for all members, and everyone can make a contribution.  

Please let us have your thoughts before the 10th of November, that should give us enough time to collate them all and to prepare some further ideas etc. If you can’t make that evening, we still want to read what you have to suggest. 

Look forward to seeing as many people as possible on the evening.

Stewy Bell

 Club Secretary

Headtorch Runs!

DATES FOR THE DIARY!! 🔦🏃‍♀️🔦🏃‍♂️

12th November 6:30pm

Hamsterley Forest Headtorch run led by club member Rachel Edmunds.  6 Miles in total.
Meeting at the main car park in Hamsterley Forest ( car park near the toilet block) 
Refreshments back in Wolsingham at the Black Bull Pub.🍻🍻

26th November 6:30pm

Beamish Run – more details to follow closer to the time.

For further information speak to James Newton.

Return of athletics and running (updated 15 July)

15th July 2021

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Updated 15 July 2021

On Monday 12 July, the Prime Minister confirmed the timeline as England moves to Step 4 of the UK Government’s roadmap.

As of Monday 19 July, most restrictions in England relating to COVID-19 will be eased. This of course is very positive for the return of athletics and running across the country.

The Key facts

  • There are no legal restrictions around numbers gathering across both indoor and outdoor settings. This means all venues and events can take place with no limit on participant and spectator numbers. Notwithstanding the normal risk assessments and event management practice must be adhered to.
  • There is no legal requirement for clubs, facilities, coaches or competition providers to collect data for test and trace or to display a QR code.
  • Currently there are no legal requirements around COVID-19 tests or NHS passports pre- or post-participation.
  • There are no restrictions on social distancing or requirement for test and trace to be carried out.
  • UK Government guidance should be followed for international travel. Exemptions to some of the restrictions do exist for those athletes classified as ‘elite’ and these are detailed in the UK Government elite sport guidance
  • There are no restrictions on car sharing, minibus or coach travel.
  • Participants and volunteers can now travel across England and stay overnight to participate and volunteer within the sport. There are no restrictions on volunteers sharing rooms with people from outside their family.
  • There is an emphasis on personal responsibility for reducing risk. Clubs and competition providers should give clear guidance that individuals should not turn up to an athletics or running environment (club, coached or competition) if displaying symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Clubs and competition providers should make participants aware of:
    • Clear guidance to prospective participants on COVID-19 symptoms
    • Any safety measures they put in place to reduce risk
    • Reducing any potential transmission to staff
    • Ways to mitigate risk to vulnerable groups
  • Clubs and competition providers may (but this is NOT mandatory) ask participants to:
    • Sign in using a QR code and keep test and trace data
    • Take a COVID-19 test before participation
    • Wear a mask

This is fantastic news for the sport but the pandemic is far from over and is it important that we encourage the continued implementation of some of the safeguarding measures that as a society we have put into place over the last 18 months.

UK Government statistics suggest people are nervous about returning to normality. Only 40% of people feel comfortable going to indoor gyms, leisure centres or swimming pools. There is a nervousness of some individuals around the return to sport.  All individuals, clubs and competition providers should be aware of this and communicate effectively with all prospective participants to make them feel as comfortable as possible to take part in athletics and running activities.

Washing hands, using masks in certain situations (indoors) and maintaining social distance between one another have been proven to reduce the likelihood of spreading COVID-19. Therefore, it is important that all clubs, coaches, volunteers, and competition providers continue to carry out local risk assessments around the environment and participants to make sure they continue to provide the safest possible environment for everybody to participate and support the sport that we love.

It is also important to recognise that some measures that have been highlighted by England Athletics throughout the COVID-19 guidance issued since April 2020 should feature as standard in club risk assessments and health and safety processes i.e. maintaining safe and effective ratios of runners or athletes to leaders and coaches, and ensuring all participants are registered for training sessions with emergency contacts details available and health / fitness concerns identified.

Questions that club coaches and competition providers may wish to consider.

Q: Should masks be worn?

A: Individuals might still be classed as vulnerable to COVID-19, or just feel safer wearing a mask in certain crowded environments. Through a local risk assessment, the advice might be to continue wearing face masks in certain environments. Local operators of venues may encourage or mandate this as part of their operating procedure.

Q: Do we need to keep details for test and trace and QR codes?

A: Some athletes, runners and volunteers may wish to provide their contact details for test and trace or scan a QR code to ensure they receive updates if there is a breakout around a particular venue. Local operators of venues may encourage or mandate this as part of their operating procedure.

Q: What needs to be in a local risk assessment?

A: As with all risk assessments they need to be based on the local environment and participants at the session. Therefore, you may wish to include the following (amongst other mitigations) in your risk assessments:

  • Continuing the use of a COVID-19 coordinator
  • Implementing extra hygiene measures between users sharing equipment
  • Maintaining social distancing
  • The use of masks in crowded environments
  • One-way routes etc when accessing venues.

Q: What message should clubs, coaches and competition providers be putting out prior to sessions?

A: Clubs, coaches and competition providers should offer clear guidance to both participants and volunteers around expected behaviours prior to arriving at any sessions. It should be made clear to everybody potentially involved it is their personal responsibility not to turn up to the activity if displaying any of the COVID-19 symptoms as outlined in the UK Government guidance.  It is also a personal responsibility to assess personal risk at an event and be aware that clubs and competition providers may impose local restrictions for health and safety and COVID-19 reasons.

Useful links for further information:

Return of athletics and running following UK Government roadmap

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Updated: 24 February 2021

We are pleased to confirm that clubs, groups, coaching and competition can return outdoors from 29 March for both adults and children, in line with the UK Government’s roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions announced on 22 February.

We have outlined in the below ‘athletics and running roadmap’ infographic what this means at each stage. More detailed guidance will be provided once we have received further information from Sport England and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Please note, all these dates are subject to the UK Government’s four-step roadmap to ease restrictions across England and the conditions which must be met before the country is able to move from one step to the next.

We are working with our partners, facility operators, competition providers, competition licencing bodies and event providers to aid the return to the activity safely and progressively.

Athletics and Running Roadmap

For additional information specific to the return of track and field competition, please see the track and field competition section below

Track and field competition in line with the UK Government’s roadmap

We are pleased to announce that the original calendar released by UK Athletics (UKA) and the other Home Country Athletics Federations (HCAFs) is, to a large degree, intact, within the recent roadmap announced by the UK Government.

We will be working closely with all competition providers over the next few days to confirm dates and events and will provide a more detailed calendar as soon as we can.

The roadmap timelines for competition activity we can release at this moment are detailed in the above table, with the additional following date.

  • 15 March – Licensing opens for track and field competitions. Details on process to follow.

We are also working with British Athletics and the other HCAFs to check officials are available and facilities are open. We will work with officials’ groups to ensure the safe return to competition is in place and with facility providers to encourage them to open in line with UK Government guidance. One key consideration is recognising that tracks will open at different times and that athletes will need training time prior to competing. Coaches and clubs must put the preparation and welfare of athletes at the centre of their thinking when returning to competition. We, and other competition organisers, will aim to balance event planning with this return. Should this timetable change we will let people know as soon as we can.

We strongly recommend a period of training and preparation for all athletes and clubs prior to any competition being undertaken. Only when athletes, coaches, parents and clubs are confident that the training preparation is in place should athletes undertake competition.

Based on the UK Government roadmap, National Championships should be able to go ahead through the summer as well as most fixtures. We will release a more detailed calendar as quickly as we can. All fixtures will be dependent upon officials and facilities and no future change to the UK Government roadmap.

Road running competition

England Athletics, runbritain and the larger road race organisers are in conversation with Sport England and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) about a return to road racing. Clubs and race providers can apply for licenses now via the runbritain website

There is information further information available via the COVID-19 pages on runbritain which will be updated as further clarification is obtained.

Trail, walks, fell and mountain competition

We are also working with the Trail, Fell and Walks Associations with regards to mapping restrictions that may apply as we go through spring. We are seeking clarity on the definition of ‘formally organised events’ and any travel restrictions that may apply and will update the community as soon as we have this information.

Again, we would like to thank everyone involved in the sport, from clubs, runners, athletes, coaches, leaders, officials, administrators, volunteers, facility providers, competition providers, parents and carers for their continued support, patience and understanding whilst adhering to the UK Government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The physical and mental health and wellbeing of all our members and their loved ones remains the priority throughout this challenging period so it is vital everyone adheres to the UK Government’s national COVID-19 restrictions thus ensuring its four-step roadmap can be achieved successfully.

Guidance Update 5 January 2021

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Following the UK Government’s announcement on Monday 4 January of a new national lockdown, regrettably our guidance for athletics and running must reflect these enforced Covid-19 restrictions across England.

As a result of everyone being required to stay at home, except for specific purposes as outlined by the UK Government’s guidance, the impact on our sport includes the following with immediate effect and until further notice:

  • The suspension of all face-to-face indoor and outdoor club / group activity.
  • The suspension of all indoor track and field competitions.
  • The suspension of all outdoor competitions including track and field, cross country, road, trail, fell and multi-terrain running.
  • The suspension of all face-to-face coaches’ and officials’ education.
  • The suspension of any other face-to-face club / group training sessions, events, athlete camps, running groups or other social events as well as club committee or other meetings.
  • Indoor gyms and facilities will remain closed.

What can take place?

The UK Government has confirmed that elite sport is able to continue in line with the strict protocols and measures that are in place. Similarly, organised outdoor sport for disabled people can continue and we will provide further details on this once we have the required information from the UK Government.

  • The UK Government has confirmed that individuals can exercise with one other person either from their own household OR outside their household. This is limited to one occasion per day and the individual should not travel outside of their local area
  • Virtual training sessions can be delivered by qualified coaches
  • Virtual competitions can still take place. Click here for a list of virtual road races c
  • England Athletics will continue to coordinate the Weekly 30

Anyone taking part in any virtual activity should at all times observe the above restrictions. We are currently seeking clarity from UK Government on 1:1 coaching and will provide an update as soon as possible.

We believe athletics and running play a vital role in improving the physical and mental health and wellbeing of participants of all ages and abilities and remain in constant dialogue with the UK Government to ensure a full, and safe, return to the sport as soon as possible.

To ensure athletics and running can still play an important role in the lives of many people during these challenging times, we continue to provide clubs, affiliated athletes, runners including RunTogether groups, coaches and leaders, officials and families with access to support, resources and activities through our Athletics and Running @home campaign.

We are also aware of the impact Covid-19 has had on clubs and offer a reminder that funding is available through our new Club Support Fund.

Please continue to follow all the latest news and updates for your local area as these could be subject to change at short notice, with UK Government advice superseding the above guidance relating to athletics and running.

Again, we would like to thank everyone involved in the sport, from clubs, runners, athletes, coaches, leaders, officials, administrators, volunteers, facility providers, competition providers, parents and carers for their continued support, patience and understanding whilst adhering to our guidance issued in accordance with the UK Government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The physical and mental health and wellbeing of all our members and their loved ones remains the priority throughout this difficult and challenging period so it is vital everyone adheres to the UK Government’s new national Covid-19 restrictions until further notice.


Coronavirus guidance update

Our latest information is at out more