Press Report: North Says No to Summer Champs

NORTHERN ATHLETICS has cancelled all of this year’s regional track and field championships.

The regional organisation’s chairman, Tony Wood, revealed the news at the weekend due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

“The Northern Athletics office has been closed since the beginning of April due to the lockdown and the decision to do so was simple because we were unable to stage championships and we had to mitigate for any future losses by implementing the government’s furlough scheme,” Wood said.

“We have held two board meetings remotely during the lockdown. In April we had to sadly cancel the Northern Inter Counties Championships which would have been held at York next month and we postponed the senior championships which would have been held at Liverpool this month.

“Unfortunately, the current government guidelines and the concern we have for our athletes, our loyal officials and spectators meant that Northern Athletics has decided that we were unable to safely stage any track and field championships this summer. Accordingly the junior and senior championships which would have been held at Hull in August are now cancelled.”

The news is a big blow to West Cheshire Athletic Club members who have been preparing to compete in the Northern Championships which are the highlight of the summer season for many club athletes. 

Wood added: “Our next dilemma is the Autumn Road Relays Championships. We still have to be guided by government guidelines but we also have to rely on a date given to us by Manchester City FC whose Premier League season has been extended and it is unlikely we will have that date until August which may affect our ability to stage the event. We are not going to make a decision at present but we will do so in the next month or so and we will of course keep everybody informed.

“The 5k Road Championships at Sunderland and the 10 miles Road Championships at Preston have been cancelled by the host clubs due to their concerns over the virus, but the Ribble Valley 10k Road Race remains in the calendar and we will keep liaising with the host club.

“We will also have to seriously consider our cross country relay championships in October at Sheffield and the very sensitive issue of our indoor championships and of course our indoor open meetings in November and December as to whether they can be staged safely.”

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8th June 2020
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