Running buddies are back on track
England Athletics has responded to the Government's limited easing of Coronavirus lockdown measures by updating its guidance for coaches, run leaders, runners and facilities.
A detailed statement was released last Friday (15 May) following previous directives on 17 March and 24 March that suspended all 'face-to-face' athletics activity – training, coaching, meetings – until the end of May and all non-virtual races are banned until at least 30 June 2020.
The latest statement updates this information following the publication of new government guidelines on exercise and provides sport specific advice to help runners and coaches take the first steps towards getting back on track for the summer.
As Chris Jones, CEO, says: “The safety and wellbeing of all athletes, runners, coaches and the wider community is at the heart of our guidance. We know that everyone in the England Athletics family, including RunTogether, are keen to resume running and athletics activity as soon as it is safe and appropriate for them to do so. England Athletics recognises that wish but at the same time wants to ensure that the safety and wellbeing of everyone in the athletics community, facility providers and the wider community is considered as the first priority.”
The main changes are that coaching can now resume, strictly on a one-to-one basis, and that athletes and runners may also now train in pairs, provided strict social distancing is adhered to at all times. Athletics tracks can now be used provided those facilities are available. The mantra seems to be: two's company, three's a crowd.
While this is likely to be of immediate benefit to elite athletes, who need access to their coach for supervised training, it does enable running buddies to meet for a social run for the first time in two months. It will also be good news for personal trainers and those coaches who rely on the sport for an income.
The England Athletics statement gives detailed guidance regarding additional Covid-19 risk assessments, hygiene and safeguarding arrangements and the full statement can be read here
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