It is now clear from the latest England Athletics (EA) guidelines, dated 24th February, that we can resume outdoor training from the 29th of March.
EA have continued to support the concept of a Covid-19 secure environment in which groups of unlimited number are allowed for a training session organised by a coach. However, 2 metre social distancing should be maintained at all times wherever possible. We are satisfied that our track is a Covid-19 secure environment provided that everyone brings their own hand sanitizer and or wipes and complies with the following rules.
- Training sessions for U18s are limited to a maximum number of 15 per group excluding coaches.
- For a training session at the track not organised by a coach or for any session, with or without a coach, in an area that is not a secure environment, e.g. the town streets, the field adjoining the track, the limit of 6 per group and the 2 metre rule applies.
- For training sessions outside the track the rule of 6 will apply unless a risk assessment can be produced for each route or area detailing how the environment is Covid-19 secure.
All participants must be health screened (you will be asked to self-declare your health when attending a training session):
You must not take part in activity if you have been instructed to self-isolate (following a positive COVID-19 test, contact with a confirmed case or international travel)
or have any of the following symptoms:
- A high temperature/fever;
- A new continuous cough;
- Loss or change to your sense of smell and/or taste.
All attendees at a training session will be registered for Test & Trace purposes.
It is clearly not possible to have an unlimited number of athletes at the track, however there can be multiple groups at the track at any one time viz:
- One middle distance and one sprints/hurdles;
- Two Sprints/hurdle groups;
- In addition to either 1 or 2, a throws group, a long jump and a high jump group at each session
It seems unlikely that the maximum number of distance runners can exceed 35 whilst still complying with the rules. It is the responsibility of the coaches and or group leaders to determine the safe number within this limit as it is likely to be dependent on the type of session. It will be a challenge for the coaches to determine how to accommodate adults and children on the track at the same time.
The track booking system will operate as before whereby members check the track calendar on the club website (www.paddockwoodac.co.uk/calendar/category/track-bookings/ ) and, having chosen a desired 1 hour time slot, email Mike Ridger (firstname.lastname@example.org) before 5pm of the day before with the names of the attendees. to confirm the booking. He will confirm that the session is available or, if not, suggest alternatives. On a user’s first booking he will be required to complete the EA Covid-19 Risk Assessment.
We have now been able to arrange with Mascalls school that we can use the front section of the school to park for our Tuesday & Thursday training sessions, this is the area just inside the main entrance gates. Please park considerately to ensure that we can fit all members in that need this space. There will be no toilet facilities available at Mascalls School or at Putlands and the gates to Putlands car park will be shut. It may still be advisable to walk to the track if you live in Paddock Wood. All members should still meet at the track, unless advised otherwise by coaches.
For full details of the EA guidance see https://www.englandathletics.org/athletics-and-running/news/category/coronavirus-updates/