Covid-19 Update 20th May

POSTED:

Wednesday 20th May

We welcome the return to limited activity in Clubs this week and we appreciate your cooperation and vigilance in regard to implementing the highest standards of contact tracing, hygiene and social distancing. We have updated our website with further resources for all to use from posters to screening questionnaires and this valuable information can be accessed HERE.

Additionally, we facilitated a 30 minute webinar last night to answer frequently asked questions for all and this discussion can be found HERE.

Our RDO team led by Pat Ryan will be a key point of contact for all Clubs to access information and the team are undergoing training in the area of Covid 19 compliance in the coming days, the RDO contact details for all can be found HERE.

We are also working with our partner Eventmaster to deliver a free online booking system for each Club to manage athlete contact tracing and we hope to have more details on this system to share with you all next week.

We would love to receive feedback and pictures of your Club return to training that could be shared with our members as we travel this difficult road together, please send contributions to deirdremarley@athleticsireland.ie

We wish to iterate that we do aspire to return to competition from August onwards, subject to government approval.

Keep Safe and don’t hesitate to contact us at any time with your questions.

Wednesday 13th May 2020

Athletics Ireland is delighted to announce that in accordance with specific government guidelines all clubs can return to limited activity from Monday 18th May. Athletics is one of the first sports to receive Sport Ireland and Government endorsement to return to activity and we thank the expert contribution from our working groups in competition, recreation and clubs. Athletics is a key strategic sport in improving the health of the nation and the recent study detailing the huge increases in people walking and running in the last two months illustrates the necessity to open our club outdoor facilities.

Key parameters that must be met on Phase 1 of the Government roadmap are;

People can engage in outdoor sporting and fitness activities, either individually or in very small groups (maximum 4 people), where social distancing can be maintained and where there is no contact
People living within a 5 km radius of their athletic club can attend to train

Hamish Adams, CEO notes “It is a privilege for us to be one of the first sports returning to club activity and with this privilege comes a great responsibility to ensure all our clubs and members operate to the highest standards of compliance to prevent the further spread of Covid-19. This is the first small step on our journey to return to full activity, we continue to plan and prepare for competition and events from August onwards subject to government directives.”

We wish to note that every club will have their own unique set of Covid-19 challenges around social distancing, contact tracing, hygiene and member management. We strongly advise that each club committee meets virtually to develop their return to athletics plans.  A draft risk assessment template is attached for further development with club safety officers to ensure the highest standards of hygiene, tracing and social distancing are established.

A strict set of guidelines (note these guidelines are not exhaustive) has been developed with expert advice and this information can be found on the links below;

Guidance for Clubs

Guidance for Athletes

Guidance for Coaches

Club Risk Assessment Example

Monday 11th May 2020

To All Provincial, County & Club Secretaries,

We wish to give you all an update in regard to a graduated return to Club activity and insurance covers.

We are awaiting feedback from Sport Ireland in regard to our proposal to return to Club activity in compliance with government regulations. We believe that the opening of our Clubs is the key first step to the exit from lockdown.

We are also working hard in the background with expert advisors and we are developing support strategies to initiate our return to Club activity, we will release this information to you in the coming days. As you can appreciate, contact tracing, social distancing and hygiene practices will be essential strategies in our Club management of Covid19.

In the interim we can also confirm that all live virtual training events facilitated by Athletics Ireland staff for Athletics Ireland members are covered as Athletics Ireland hold Public Liability, Personal Accident and Professional Indemnity covers. However, we must advise Clubs to purchase their own individual covers in this area if they wish to personally facilitate virtual training online for their members.

We wish to note that once we do have a confirmed date for Clubs to open from Sport Ireland that all Athletics Ireland insurance covers will be immediately re-instated.

We are optimistic that a graduated return to Club activity is close and we appreciate your patience over the last two months. We are all anxious to initiate Club training and competition at all levels over the coming weeks within the government guidelines.

For insurance quotations please contact our brokers McMahon Galvin Limited info@mcmahongalvin.ie   

Thursday 7th May 9.30am

Covid 19 Lockdown Exit Update

We were delighted to receive the government news in recent days in regard to the Roadmap to Re-Open Society and Business https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/e5e599-government-publishes-roadmap-to-ease-covid-19-restrictions-and-reope/

However, we are liaising with Sport Ireland and relevant government authorities to ascertain what are the specific implications to athletics clubs and athletes in regard to the guidelines.

We can confirm that all national competitions scheduled for May, June and July have been postponed until after the 1st August, 2020. We are actively considering new dates for competitions and events that are feasible to host based on the guidelines after the 1st August and we will communicate these decisions to you all as soon as possible.

We recognise that the situation is constantly changing and government guidance is being updated regularly we are also mindful that lockdown measures can be re-instated at any time during our exit from lockdown. Any return to activity and competition will consider all government messaging with the aim that we maintain the safety and well-being of the athletics and wider community as our primary goal.

We have established forums to consider our return to activity in the areas of Competition, Recreation and Clubs and we thank all involved for their time and expertise in these respective areas, the decisions being made are not easy.

The principles below will apply to all our decision making in regard to our return to activity at all levels and we hope to share;

  • We will follow all Government guidelines on any transition back to activity, with the aim of ensuring the continued safety and well-being of the athletics and wider community.
  • For all competition and events we will ensure activities are safe and focus on the well-being of athletes.
  • We are aware of a lead in training time required for athletes in clubs before any competition can resume.
  • We will need to be innovative around running athletic competition and events if restrictions on social distancing remain and we will produce guidelines to mitigate risk to enable competition within government guidelines.

We believe we are on the last stages of the journey back to club activity and competition and we thank the entire athletics community for their continued patience and discipline throughout this difficult time. It is pleasing to see the huge amount of walking and running activity that has continued in the last few weeks emphasizing the importance of our sport to the nation.

 

Monday 30th March 9.30am

The health and safety of the Athletics community is our priority at this time and we are more than ever determined to be proactive regarding precautions to limit the spread of the Covid 19 virus. We continue to closely monitor the outbreak and the advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team and the HSE.

We understand that the decision to suspend all athletic competitions, coaching courses, club training and events is disappointing to all athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers and supporters, nevertheless, we are sure that you understand that the decision was taken in the best interests, not just of the athletics community, but for all the people of Ireland.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

We have made robust plans for Athletics Ireland to exit this crisis in a strong position and the Board along with our staff are united in our determination to deliver our mission to support and develop the athletes of Ireland of all ages, disciplines and abilities and to contribute positively to increasing physical activity levels across the entire population. With this in mind we have initiated virtual training programmes and runs for all to participate in at this time and we believe that running and walking activities will soar in the coming weeks.

Although we have physically closed our office, all Athletics Ireland staff are operating our business from their homes. Operating telephones and emails remotely is minimising disruption to our organisation and we are ensuring this time is spent productively so that when we get through this crisis we can resume full operations immediately.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your continued efforts, while it is a strange place we find ourselves in we can but look forward to the future where we will meet again in happier circumstances. We will continue to monitor developments and update you all on our website and social media channels on a regular basis.

Please take care, remain vigilant and be safe.

Hamish Adams, Athletics Ireland Chief Executive Officer

Georgina Drumm, Athletics Ireland President

 

Click HERE for latest HSE guidelines and advice.

Tuesday 24th March 6-30pm

Following the latest announcement from our Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar Athletics Ireland wishes to note that from midnight tonight All organised indoor and outdoor events of any size are not to take place.

The effect of this government decision means that no Athletics Ireland Provinces, County Boards, Clubs or affiliates can operate in any capacity. As such no insurance covers of Athletics Ireland for Provinces, County Boards, Clubs and individuals are operational during this period.

We stress the importance of all our members following this expert advice and hope you all stay safe in these difficult times.

 

Latest Guidance on Public Health Measures

Published: 24 March 2020
From: Department of the Taoiseach

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has recommended that all non-essential retail outlets close to members of the public. All other retail outlets are to implement social distancing.

Cafés and restaurants are limited to takeaways and deliveries only. All sporting events are cancelled - including those behind closed doors.

All theatres, clubs, gyms, leisure centres and hair salons are to be shut.

Places of worship are to restrict numbers visiting and no unnecessary travel should take place in the country or overseas, now or during the Easter break.

The Taoiseach said people need to stay at home and only leave to:

  • go to work
  • go to the shops for essential supplies
  • care for others
  • exercise

The Taoiseach also stated "you should only leave home to go to work if you can’t work from home and your attendance is essential. You should only go to the shops for essential supplies, out for medical or dental appointments, to care for others or to take physical exercise.

Non-essential indoor visits to other people’s homes should be avoided. Social gatherings of individuals outdoors should be of no more than 4, unless you are all from same household".

The full statement is available HERE

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar Speech available HERE

Advice on protecting yourself and others available HERE

Monday 23rd March, 1pm

It has come to our attention that a small number of running groups are not respecting the extremely important HSE advice in regard to maintaining a social distance of at least 2 metres between individuals.

During this unprecedented period the health of the nation is at stake and we direct all athletes and coaches under the auspices of Athletics Ireland to respect the expert advice of our health professionals.

Please note the latest advice from the HSE below.


Dear Stakeholder,

As part of the continued national response to the rapidly-shifting challenges of Coronavirus COVID-19, we firstly want to wish you good health and wellbeing.

Most of you will be aware that social distancing measures continue to be paramount and every citizen is being asked to take the necessary precautions. Many of the new materials developed below are helping to get this message out.

Partner Pack
The digital partner pack continues to be updated and can be downloaded online at:
https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/news/newsfeatures/covid19-updates/partner-resources/


The digital partner pack contains:

  • The most up to date posters on Coronavirus COVID-19 (please display and share these as widely as you can, and please replace any previous posters that you might have used with the updated version)
  • Videos that you can share and display
  • Leaflets, social media assets and more


Key Updates
Here are some important additions and updates for you:


Next Updates Expected
Early next week, the digital partner pack is also expected to include a booklet on Coronavirus COVID-19. We will make this available in a number of formats with different audiences in mind.

For the most up to date information and advice on Coronavirus, please go to:  

Department of Health:         https://www.gov.ie/en/campaigns/c36c85-covid-19-coronavirus/  
HSE:                                   https://www2.hse.ie/coronavirus/
HPSC:                                https://www.hpsc.ie/a-z/respiratory/coronavirus/novelcoronavirus/


We would be grateful if you would let us know if your organisation has any specific requests or urgent needs in relation to Coronavirus COVID-19 public health information materials.  
If you do, please email us at Partner.Pack@hse.ie to let us know.

Thank you in advance for your support at this important time.

A reminder be mindful of your mental health during this time, try to keep to a routine, maintain a healthy, balanced diet, and remember social distancing doesn’t have to mean social isolation.

Covid-19 Health Communications Stakeholder Support

#KeepYourDistance
Monday 16th March, 2.30pm

Athletics Ireland is instructing all affiliates to suspend all athletic competitions, group training and events with immediate effect. We understand that this decision will result in inconvenience and disappointment to many athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers and supporters. However, we are sure that all will understand that the decision is taken in the best interests, not just of the athletics community, but of the Nation.

The guidance from Athletics Ireland is that all club group training sessions be cancelled at this time as we need to reduce all social interaction.

Members should follow the advice that has been provided by the appropriate agencies regarding the best way to minimise the risks to infection as well as what you should do if you feel unwell and are developing symptoms. We advise all to stay safe and follow the HSE advice at this difficult time.

This information can be found in greater detail within the links below.

Friday March 13th 11am

Over the past number of days, we have been planning our position in relation to the Coronavirus and this planning has now escalated in light of recent communication.

Athletics Ireland is instructing all affiliates to suspend all athletic competitions and events with immediate effect. We understand that this decision will result in inconvenience and disappointment to many athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers and supporters. However, we are sure that all will understand that the decision is taken in the best interests, not just of the athletics community, but of the Country.

Club training is down to the discretion of the individual club, but the recommendation from Athletics Ireland is that club training sessions be cancelled at this time.

We would advise all clubs to carefully consider if this is necessary and in line with trying to reduce social interaction. We would urge all clubs to engage with your facility and to understand their position regarding continued operations and opening hours. Members should follow the advice that has been provided by the appropriate agencies regarding the best way to minimise the risks to infection as well as what you should do if you feel unwell and are developing symptoms. This can be found in greater detail within the links below.

Health and Safety Authority

HSE.ie

Government of Ireland

We would advise all clubs to cancel or postpone all planned international trips that are due to take place in March and April and we will circulate more information as this becomes available. If clubs have queries or concerns in this regard, please contact Athletics Ireland.

Click here for National Juvenile Championships Update

Click here for SIAB Schools Cross Country Update

Click here for HP Update

The situation is changing rapidly and we will continue to monitor developments and update our website and communication on a daily basis.

Sport Ireland will continue to provide information to Sports Bodies as it becomes available and again strongly recommends that all stakeholders remain informed of, and follow government advice on the situation. Further information supplied from Sport Ireland can be found below.

  • Click HERE for FAQs
  • Click HERE for Coordinating Public Health Communication to Citizens and Staff presentation
Thursday March 12th 12.00pm

Athletics Ireland continues to closely monitor the Coronavirus outbreak and the advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team and the HSE. The health and safety of the Athletics community is our priority and we are determined to be calm, calculated and proactive regarding precautions to limit the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

As announced by An Taoiseach this morning the following measures will come into effect from tomorrow morning until the 29th March, 2020.

schools, colleges and childcare facilities will close from tomorrow (Friday)
Indoor mass gatherings of 100 people or more and outdoor mass gatherings of more than 500 people should be cancelled

Where it is possible to work remotely people should do so. Public transport will continue and shops will continue to remain open. Mr Varadkar said we need the public and businesses to take a sensible approach.

Athletics Ireland is guided by this expert HSE advice and will physically close our office from tomorrow morning but all staff will be operating our business from their homes. We have all prepared to operate telephones and emails remotely to minimise disruption to our business.

Athletics Ireland is therefore instructing all affiliates to suspend all athletic competitions and events with immediate effect. We understand that this decision will result in inconvenience and disappointment to many athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers and supporters. However, we are sure that all will understand that the decision is taken in the best interests, not just of the athletics community, but of the Country.

Club training is down to the discretion of the individual club, but the recommendation from Athletics Ireland is that club training sessions be cancelled at this time.

The situation is changing rapidly and we will continue to monitor developments and update our website and communication on a daily basis.

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