Chris references the guidance documents published by England Athletics in recent weeks to help enable a restricted return to training activity. Our existing guidance is now being reviewed to reflect the latest government position as of 1st June and England Athletics is working with UKA and is liaising with other partners including Sport England to ensure that any changes to the guidance that we issue is informed by the most accurate information available to us at that time. Chris also reiterates the importance of putting the health and safety of our participants at the heart of any guidance we provide. Click here to go to our Guidance page.
UKA and England Athletics
Chris invites members to share their views with our partners UK Athletics via a virtual consultation roadshow approach to help shape the future priorities for our sport UK-wide. Chris and the new CEO of UKA, Joanna Coates, will be taking part in a series of 8 webinars between the 22nd June and 1st July. Ahead of this consultation, Chris encourages our members to read the ‘An Athletic Nation’ document which is already available on our website and which was produced jointly between the Home Country Athletic Federations and UKA and which provides an overarching high level long term vision for our great sport UK wide.
England Athletics, together with the other Home Country Athletics Federations are committed to work with UKA to actively support the development of a “Change Plan” and delivery of “An Athletic Nation”, both of which were referenced in a recent UK Sport commissioned Review of UKA and to collaborate to deliver sustained success for the sport of athletics across the UK over the next ten years. The plan is at preliminary draft stage and has been considered and its direction of travel endorsed by each of the NGB boards.
“A collaborative relationship between UKA and the HCAFs is important in order to run a golden thread from podium to playground – gluing together the performance end of the sport with the participation end of the sport and ensuring all organisations are making the best use of resources and shared services wherever we can.
“I believe that helping to inform the work of UKA and in turn working together to develop a UK-wide strategic plan for our sport will support the home countries and of course benefit England Athletics and our members. We hope that you, our members, will join us and help both UKA and ourselves to understand your views on the future priorities for the sport UK wide.
“This will in turn help inform our collaborative work and clarify our respective roles and responsibilities in a future that will undoubtedly be impacted by the effects of COVID-19. We want your view on what challenges need to be overcome to improve the sport UK wide, what opportunities exist and what should be prioritised to enhance experiences of athletes and runners of all backgrounds and abilities to achieve their full potential.” explains Chris.
Click here for the online registration for the virtual consultation roadshows – questions can be submitted in advance as well as on the day. Following the first roadshow on 22nd June, an online survey will be launched to provide the opportunity to provide more feedback.
While there is currently no set date for a return to competition, Chris also remains hopeful that we will see a return to some form of competition and wider activity in due course, albeit with the need to consider aspects such as social distancing in doing so. However, as an organisation we continue to monitor, and be led by, the latest government guidelines and our absolute priority in any planning is the health and safety of everyone involved in our sport: please view the recent update on competitions scenario planning by our Head of Coaching & Athlete Development, Martin Rush.
As an organisation, through the Athletics & Running for Everyone @Home programme, England Athletics has delivered a series of virtual competitions and challenges through working with our partners with further online activities being planned for release during June.
Chris reserves special thanks to the c1,300 clubs and organisations and c56,000 registered athletes who have already renewed their association with England Athletics in this new affiliation year. Chris highlights the importance of the affiliation and registration fees to England Athletics as an organisation in supporting the wider sport and equally the importance of athletes and runners continuing to support their clubs as they work through to come through this unprecedented period.
The challenges that England Athletics, and the sport, is facing as a result of Covid-19 include a potential income deficit and Chris outlines the measures that have been put in place to help cut non-essential costs. This has included taking advantage of the government’s furloughing scheme and a 10% salary reduction for members of the senior executive team.
England Athletics is doing all it can to income generate whilst also focusing on delivering essential services as well as supporting our affiliated clubs and registered athletes throughout this unprecedented time.
This approach has resulted in the cancellation of this year’s England Athletics Hall of Fame Awards night, which we hope will return in 2021. These types of decisions are not being taken lightly but are in the spirit on focusing on the key support required by our members at this time. Our Regional and National Volunteer Awards presentations will still take place albeit virtually with more details to be announced in due course.