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covid-19 position statement 

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15 May 2020 

UK Athletics continues to support the need to protect the health and well-being of all parts of society during the current COVID-19 crisis. UK Athletics recognise the importance of participation at all levels in sport and supports the desire to return to activity as soon as it is safe to do so.

UK Athletics wishes to keep its staff, performance athletes and affiliated membership safe during this time. This statement sets out key principles that we will follow.

We will not be re-opening our head office before the beginning of July at the earliest, and this is dependent on government advice which is reviewed every two weeks. In the interim our staff will continue to work effectively from home as this remains the safest method for them to fulfil their roles. We are currently in the process of drawing up contingency plans in preparation for the eventual reopening of our offices. These plans will continue to be revisited in the light of the latest information.

We welcome the UK Government advice specific to sports released on 13th May 2020. The complexity of maintaining social distancing (which possibly extends beyond 2 metres for activities that include exertion) plus managing wider transmission risks requires good preparation and a robust plan.

We are aware that the requirement for venues, as well as clubs and coaches to develop their own plans places a huge pressure upon them. For this reason, we recommend that return to venues and club activities is avoided until this process is fully followed.

We recognise that guidance will be updated at the various points as restrictions are eased.

Variations in the approach taken by the Governments of the four home countries, and the potential for regional restrictions to be in place to contain the virus means that all affiliated bodies have some significant challenges to match the understandable wish for people to participate and compete. We continue to support the Home Countries Athletics Federations, and other affiliated organisations, in developing their own plans for activity and fully recognise their differing needs.

We are working closely with UK Sport to support return to training for elite athletes. This involves working with partners at the National Performance Institute and other elite training facilities to implement the Government guidance specific to elite sport.

UK Athletics recognise the impact and frustration created by COVID-19, and hope that by all affiliated bodies working together to formulate consistent plans across all disciplines and home nations we can provide clarity to ensure that our sport plays it’s part in contributing to the national recovery from this pandemic.

 

Other athletics updates linked below:

·         https://www.englandathletics.org/athletics-and-running/news/guidance-update-for-restricted-return-to-activity-for-coaches-leaders-athletes-runners-and-facilities/

 

·         https://www.welshathletics.org/en/blog/post/extension-to-the-suspension-of-athletics-activity-in-wales