By John Foley
The managing committee of St Laurence O’Toole athletic club in Carlow town will meet this week to decide if they will reopen their doors after today’s announcement by Athletics Ireland that clubs can return to activity from next Monday, 18 May, provided they adhere to strict guidelines.
Among the conditions are that only outdoor facilities will be available, training groups will be limited to four people, all of whom must follow the usual social distancing guidelines, only people living within a five kilometre radius can attend training, and, of course, there can be no handshakes or high fives during training!
Athletics Ireland CEO Hamish Adams welcomed the development.
“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,” he said.
Athletics Ireland has distributed documents to clubs outlining how they, their athletes and coaches must closely follow training conditions.
Clubs will have to operate a booking system for all training sessions in order to help with contact tracing if necessary.
Athletes are told to travel to training alone, not to congregate before training, arrive in their full training gear and use toilets at home as club toilets will not be accessible.
Children under the age of 13 will not be allowed to attend training in the first phase of re-opening and all athletes under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.