22nd December 2020

Statement by UKA & the HCAFs regarding equal access to cross country competition distances

Early in the New Year, UK Athletics in cooperation with the Home Country Athletics Federations will be circulating a survey to Cross Country clubs and their athletes, Cross Country competition providers and the Cross Country community to capture thoughts on how Cross Country can provide equal opportunities for all participants at all levels in the future.

Whilst athletics is an incredibly inclusive sport, there could be greater equality in some Cross Country races and competitions by enabling all athletes access to the same opportunities through the race distances available to them.

Recognising that there are differences of opinion as to how best to achieve equality within Cross Country, we are therefore proposing to undertake a consultative approach with the survey at the heart of it to enable us to better understand the views of clubs, their athletes, volunteers and organisations as to what greater equity in Cross Country should look like and how to deliver it.

World Athletics competitions currently have the same distances for male and female participants, Scottish Athletics have already equalised all their events along with some leagues throughout the UK. In addition, leagues, county, area and national championships in England have had equal distances at U11, U13 and U15 age groups for the last 10 years.

To move this forward in the most practical way, it is important that we engage and listen to Cross Country Clubs and their senior athletes, Cross Country competition providers, Cross Country leagues and other Cross Country stakeholders to understand what equal access means to them and then act on the feedback received in fulfilling our aspiration for greater equity in Cross Country in the future.

Make sure you keep an eye on UK Athletics and HCAF channels to ensure you have your say, until such time if you have any queries please contact domesticcompetition@uka.org.uk