News & Updates

15 June 2020 • General

Athletics to get under way

Yesterday the government announced an increase to the number of people who can gather at Alert Level 2, and from midday Friday 29 May, gatherings can be held with up to 100 people. This new limit applies to our sport, and Athletics New Zealand is excited to endorse the start of club and centre events, providing they ensure they remain within the 100 person limit and follow all of the relevant public health guidelines.

Athletics NZ CEO Peter Pfitzinger said:

“Over the past eight weeks our athletics community has shown tremendous resilience and ingenuity in staying active and connected under Covid-19 related restrictions. But I know all around New Zealand cross country runners are enthusiastic to start club and centre activities. Our clubs and centres can now plan for the next few months as we await further easing of restrictions to allow national events.”

All around the country clubs are preparing to kick off their seasons over the coming three weekends, one such club was Feilding Moa Harriers, in the Manawatu. Chairperson Rob Dabb said:

“We’re very much looking forward to getting our season started! As a larger club, we have split our opening weekend activities into two separate events, and are requiring people to pre-register. Communication with our members has been key, it has been a bit more work than usual, but letting our members know about our safety plan has worked well, and everyone seems enthusiastic about getting started with some Cross Country running. We’re also anticipating a few new members, as we have had enquiries from members of our community who have fallen in love with running over lockdown, which is great news for us”  

Athletics Canterbury General Manager Ian Thomas said;

“The Canterbury running community is enthusiastic to get back running up and down hills, through mud and over hurdles! Our Cross Country and Road Committee have been working tirelessly in the background to organise our first centre event on June 13. We’ve put a lot of thought into our race day logistics and set up, which alongside the use of contact tracing technology (iDMe), will help to ensure our participants have a safe and enjoyable experience.”

For clubs and centres looking to plan activities in the coming days and weeks, we strongly recommend the use of the Athletics NZ Alert Level 2 Covid-19 Safety Plan, which can be found on the Covid-19 section of our website. As well as this, it is important to note that we must all continue to play it safe when gathering together – maintaining hygiene standards and meeting existing record keeping requirements for contact tracing.

Club administrators are invited to join an Athletics NZ webinar, being held tomorrow, to discuss the requirements of the COVID-19 Safety Plan which all Clubs and Centres need to have in place at Alert Level 2. More information and the registration link can be found here. We are planning to release further guidance and support in the coming weeks.

Further resources, including contact tracing templates, and the Athletics NZ Covid-19 Community Guidelines can be found on our website. In addition, the Athletics NZ community team are available to answer any questions you may have, please see below for a list of contacts.