I hope you are coping in the continued lockdown and that the movement towards some relaxation is going to help you.
I thought it time to offer an update on where we are with plans for what remains of the 2020 season.
You may have participated in the recent UKA survey re: officials’ willingness to return to officiating if there should still be some competition before the end of the season (which could now carry on through October). The outcomes indicated 72% willing to return, while the remainder had a range of reservations about conditions that prevented them from saying yes.
UKA Technical Advisory Group meetings in which I have participated have included discussions about the possibility of a return to competition. These have involved Donna Fraser who is leading for UKA on this issue and who is working elsewhere with competition providers and with Home Country representatives.
I also held a recent Zoom meeting with club and event provider representatives from Oxfordshire. We are far from optimistic, but think it is worth investing some further time and effort in doing some of the planning that will have to precede any return. It is a daunting task, covering areas such as athlete readiness; venue availability and preparation; limitations on range of events; parking; spectator numbers; protective equipment and sanitisation; medical cover; and, of course, OFFICIALS. You will necessarily feature largely in the planning process for any return to competition. There is little that can be said for certain at this stage. But for officials, it is likely that some teams will need to be reduced in size. The present intention is that event organisers will need to have advance confirmation of participation from individual officials in writing (with e-mails permitted). The safety and well-being of officials, as well as of athletes and all others attending, will clearly be of paramount importance.
The Oxfordshire Zoom group plans to meet again in July, by which time we should have more detailed guidance from the governing bodies – guidance that will reflect the further Government guidance expected early in July.
While the timescale will remain conditional (and could be affected by any second Covid-19 spike), the earliest start time for licensed competition is 26th July.
If you would like to know more the movement towards a return to competition, an England Athletics webinar held on 17th June is still available at:
I will aim to send a further update at the appropriate time. In the meantime, if you have any specific queries about the return to competition or would like to tell me about your own situation or constraints, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org