18th June 2021
BLOG: MEASURES TO PROTECT HEALTH OF PARTICIPANTS TAKING PART IN ATHLETICS AFTER LOCKDOWN
ASHLEY CHARLWOOD, UK ATHLETICS HEALTH AND SAFETY LEAD OUTLINES IMPORTANT MEASURES TO PROTECT THE HEALTH OF PARTICIPANTS TAKING PART IN ATHLETICS AFTER LOCKDOWN
Here at UK Athletics we are delighted to see the increase in athletics events and activities across the UK as restrictions lift and training and competition restart in all disciplines. It is apparent that organisers of races/competitions/club and coaching sessions are making significant efforts to support the sport reopening.
Sadly, even with best endeavours, there will always be a risk of injury or illness to participants, and it is important to acknowledge that whilst our sport is the same, the people that do the sport, the locations and the venues where we do them, and how those places are used may now be different.
When restarting an activity, it is important to check what has changed since the pandemic began. This could cover whether another sport group is using the park at the time that your running group meets in that space, or whether a venue is managing activities differently. Has there been a change of membership within the group, or is the fitness and ability of a participant is still the same as it was in March 2020?
Things will have changed over a period of 15 months, and knowing these changes can be essential to the wellbeing of the participants. By asking these questions and considering the variables you will have performed a risk assessment.
Sadly, things do go wrong and it’s good to refamiliarize yourself with emergency actions and how these can be looked after. Activity specific guidance is in place depending on which Home Country you are in and is listed below.
But there are then three simple things that you can do to ensure that the wellbeing of people participating in athletics activities in an emergency event:
- Check or re-check physical activity readiness questionnaire with all participants – check with your home country as to the best way to do this.
- Check the status of your local AED (Automated External Defibrilator) – https://www.heartsafe.org.uk/aed-locations
- Check that the activity is covered by someone who is confident in BLS (basic life support) https://www.resus.org.uk/home/faqs/faqs-basic-life-support-cpr
And if something does happen e.g. a near miss or a more serious incident, please report it via UKA incident reporting portal – https://www.mysporthost.com/HealthAndSafety/
UK Athletics hopes that these are never needed, but when they are, this knowledge can make an enormous difference.
Home Country Return to Competition Information
- Northern Ireland – https://athleticsni.org/Coronavirus-Advice
- Scotland – https://www.scottishathletics.org.uk/clubs/club-support/coronavirus/
- Wales – https://www.welshathletics.org/en/page/return-to-athletics
- England – https://www.englandathletics.org/athletics-and-running/news/guidance-update-2021/
UK Athletics Online First Aid Essentials Course can also be found here https://www.athleticshub.co.uk/public/course-list/uka?what=First%20Aid%20Essentials%20in%20sport%20and%20Active%20Leisure