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Cross-Country and Track News - July 2020

Good News and Bad

track and xc news july 2020


A county Board Meeting was held in the Clayton Silversprings Hotel on Wednesday night last, July 1st.

The outcome for competition is varied, with Cross-Country due to go ahead, however the Track & Field season has been cancelled.

Cross-Country - Good News

The Cross-Country season is to go ahead, as planned, however all Championships will now be in Cork Athletics Riverstick Grounds.  The various venues had previously been decided at the Board's AGM, last January, however the difficulties arising from COVID-19 has had knock-on effects, among them being the understandable reluctance of land-owners to make their lands available this time round.

Caveats

While the Cross-Country Championships are to proceed, there will be many caveats

  • At present, it is not clear if Ambulance cover will be available for the events
  • No spectators will be permitted - Athletes and officials only allowed on course. Parents, etc must remain in their cars.
  • There will be no gate admission charge, to avoid unnecessary contact.
  • It is planned to chip all races, without timing Juveniles - just placings. This will allow athletes to run through the wider finishing line , and remove the regular finishing chute 'pile-ups' and waiting for names to be taken, etc.
  • Following their race, athletes will be expected to leave the grounds promptly.


    Fuller details will be made available following the next County Board Meeting, Wednesday September 2nd.

Track & Field - Bad News

Following a discussion on the issues faced in holding the Track & Field Championships, it was decided by vote, that the Track and Field Championships will not be held this year. 

Among the barriers faced were:

  • Track availability. Currently CIT track has only just reopened, with limited opening hours. UCC's Mardyke track has yet to reopen.
  • Ambulance cover - Current information is that all voluntary service has been 'Stood down' by HSE.  It is hoped that this situation will have improved by the planned Cross-country, in October

  • Availability of officials, given the age profile and/or health of many officials. In addition many officials are in contact with people who are at risk from COVID-19.  [A recent survey by England Athletics found over 73% of almost 1,700 officials would not be available for these reasons]

Editorial

[This Editorial does not necessarily reflect the view of Cork Athletics County Board]

The cancellation of the County T&F season will come as a disappointment to many, particularly as some parts of both the National and Leinster T&F Championships, along with some of the Dublin Graded Leagues, are planned to go ahead.

It was hoped, by many senior athletes, that the Graded Leagues might be run on a reduced/limited basis, however that will not happen now.

An important aspect of re-opening athletics is that small steps be taken first. Clearly we must be cautious, given what we have endured already, and what is happening in other countries, but we must progress at some stage. Perhaps it might have been better 'if the door had been held open' [rather than shut] to allow, if circumstances allowed, limited Graded Leagues meets, both to 'test the waters' and also to build confidence in the Reopening of Athletics. 

Such moves might also allow Cork Athletics to 'blood' new officials. Of course there are at least two caveats with that alone - we need people to actually step up to the mark...and...we also need others to loosen the reins, and allow people to make the move.

 

 

About Us

Cork Athletics County Board is a constituent member of Athletics Ireland. Cork Athletics is the governing body, administering athletics, track and field (T&F), cross-country (XC) and running in county Cork. The Board comprises elected representatives of constituent athletic clubs and running clubs. Cork County Board AAI organises Championship races and competition, including road, track & field (T&F) and Cross-country (XC), at junior, juvenile, senior and masters levels, and selects representation for the county. In addition, training and education is provided for coaches and officials. The Board also regulates the Athletics Ireland race/event permit (licence) process for county Cork.
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