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Track and Field Meets and Road Race to Proceed - July 2020

East Cork Board and Leevale AC T&F Meets, and Grange-Fermoy Road Races Going Ahead

Carraig na bhFear, CIT Track and Fermoy

July 2020


 grange fermoy 4 mile road race flyer 2020b leevale summer evening meet flyer 2020 East Cork Athletics Division Logo min

In very welcome developments, several events are going ahead over the next few weeks, though each will be held under both restricted and tightly controlled conditions, and in line with current HSE and AAI Covid-19 Guidelines.

Grange Fermoy AC will hold their INVITATION ONLY Bob Burke 4 Mile on Sunday July 26th. Numbers have been restricted to some 60 to 70 invited athletes.

Leevale AC Summer Evening T&F Meets, take place in CIT Track, on Tuesday July 28th, at 6:30pm, and Thursday July 30th, also at 6:30pm.  Entries close on Sunday next, Sunday July 19th. To date have been very strong, so entries may need to be culled, with a cap on the number of athletes per event. Athletes competing in National Junior & Senior Championships will receive preference.

East Cork Division will hold their T&F Championships, Day 1 & Day 2, in Carraig na bhFear, on Thursday August 6th, at 6:30pm, and on Thursday August 13th, again at 6:30pm. These Championships are restricted to members of clubs affiliated to East Cork Athletics Division.  Covid-19 Protocols are being drafted and these will be circulated to the Divisional clubs, following a Divisional committee meeting on Monday week.


This editorial does not necessarily reflect the views of Cork Athletics County Board

Welcome Developments

Clearly we must tread very carefully in re-opening athletics, and these events are being ahead under protocols that each organiser has developed, and in line with HSE and AAI Guidelines.  

In each case, the organisers are to be commended for stepping up to the plate and, in the difficult circumstances arising from Covid-19, and it's ramifications, are proceeding with the necessary precautions and protocols in place.  It was always hard enough to host events such as these. Covid-19 has added a hefty layer of difficulty, and a host of other responsibilities too.

While each of these events are likely to be significantly smaller than that which the respective organisers would hope to host under normal circumstances, they are small, but vital, steps in the reopening of athletics.

No doubt mistakes and/or lapses will be made, but we must all learn from these events - what went wrong, what went right, what they would do differently next time, and, maybe, what they wouldn't do at all. 

Covid-19 is going to be with us for quite some time to come, so we must get used to restrictions imposed on us. It only after successfully running the smaller scale events that we can even contemplate the bigger ones.  Cork Athletics County Cross-Country Championships are scheduled to go ahead, in the Board's Riverstick Grounds, over the Autumn months - The successess, Covid-wise, of these events is likely to have a significant impact on how the cross-country championships are run.

Clear and Present Danger!

Covid-19 presents a clear and present danger to us all. We must do everything in our power to ensure that it is dampened down, to protest each other, those we care for, and to ensure that the hospital system is not swamped.   That means that we need to put protocols in place to minimise the risks posed by the virus, and we must abide by the guidelines set by HSE, AAI and each event organiser.  Yes they may be a load of hassle, and, ordinarily, we wouldn't do some of them. BUT...These are NOT ordinary times, so we MUST abide by all the guidelines laid down for us.


First Rule of Event Organising - Everyone Goes Home Safe!

The first rule of any event, and the highest priority, is that everyone, from participant, to organising and support personnel, to spectator and the public, goes home safely.

Rule 2: If you disagree, see Rule 1

Unfortunately, over the past few weeks, we have seen, in many places around the country, but disappointingly so, in Cork, Athletics Ireland members organising and advertising unregistered, and uninsured, events, many with little, if any adherence to HSE and AAI guidelines.

Last night, Athletics Ireland held its AGM via Zoom, during the session, George Maybury, AAI's Chair of Risk & Finance, outlined the major risks faced by Athletics Ireland. High on the list was the risk posed by a Covid-19 outbreak related to an AAI event.   As Joanne O'Riordan said in her Irish Times column last Thursday:


"The fact of the matter is one single outbreak may cause few individuals to make a decision that not only disrupts players and athletes’ lives but has a financial impact that may see sporting organisations lose an insane amount of money."


Listening to the radio this morning, I was struck by an interviewee who seemed to be talking a lot of sense about reopening business. One particular comment impacted with me "Most of us are sensible whe it comes to Covid-19". I thought " Sure, but what about the idiot!?"


Sure, but what about the idiot!?"

In the past week or so, we have seen how a small number of clubs in other sports have had to shut down again, due to lapses in protocol, where in some cases, the lads went off to a house party weekend in Killarney, only to find that one of the guys revealed, on the Sunday, that he had tested positive before he came.  All it takes is one idiot! 

Imagine a superspreader coming to YOUR event and mingling with everyone. If you are organising an unregistered, uninsured event, with little or no protocols in place, then your backside is, literally, hanging out the window...and you have the potential to seriously damage the sport that we all love please stop, before any lasting damage is caused.

It is particularly sad to see a small number of high profile athletes involved on organising some of these unregistered races.  As the chairman of a Cork club said to me this evening "**** is giving the two fingers to Athletics Ireland with this" 

Each Cork club, and collectively, its members are bound by Cork Athletics Bye-Laws, including Unregistered Events - Cork Athletics Bye-Laws

Under these:
•    Clubs shall not advertise or promote non-permitted events.
•    Clubs shall not organise, or help organise, non-permitted events.
•    Clubs shall not permit or allow their club’s name to be used in association with non-permitted events.
•    Advertising includes the use of posters or flyers, club media and/or social media, such as Facebook, Twitter , etc and club website(s)


New Maths - 157 + 157 + 157 = 200

Many were expecting the 200 person limit for outdoor events to be extended to 500, form July 20th, as per the Roadmap to Recovery. The Roadmap always carried the caveat that it could be stalled or go backwards.  Nevertheless some, mainly non-club events went 'gung ho' for the 500. One event, coming up in the next few weeks, advertised for 500 participants, only to cut back to 470, when they were informed that the 500 included all persons at the event, including support personnel.

When it was announced, during the week, that the 200 limit was not being extended, they weren't deterred. The 470 numbers are being broken up into three waves of, presumably 157 each...or some other combination.  I really wonder at the logic of such thinking.  With such loose ideas....Would YOU want to go there? 

Enough Said!

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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