News & Updates

24 September 2020 • Track and Field

Track and field cleared for take-off

With the weather starting to warm up and the majority of the country now operating at Alert Level 1, several thousand Kiwis are enthusiastically preparing for a vibrant season of track and field athletics.

Some competitions have already started, with the Athletics NZ Spring Series providing an exciting opening to the season, highlighted by a world record by Lisa Adams in the F37 Shot Put and an Oceania record by Lauren Bruce in the hammer throw. The season proper will begin in October, with clubs slated to host opening nights all across Aotearoa throughout the month.

“We are enthusiastic about the summer ahead,” Athletics NZ CEO Peter Pfitzinger says.

“Many of our international stars are now New Zealand-based, so our domestic season is shaping up to be one of the most competitive in recent memory. Alongside this, we are encouraging clubs to reach out to their members and let them know that the season is just around the corner.

“With winter sports wrapping up, we know many of our tamariki and rangatahi will be looking forward to getting down to the track!

“While there is a chance of future alert level changes, we know from experience over the past six months that our athletics community is resilient and adaptable – giving us confidence of delivering a great experience for our members.”

All around the country, clubs are preparing to kick off their seasons over the coming month. One such club is Lake City Athletics Club in Rotorua, where plenty of hard work has been going on behind the scenes.

“We have been chugging away in the background while winter sport codes wrap up their seasons and are raring to go,” says Kelly Albrect, junior club convenor.

“With a flurry of registrations over the last week, we know we aren’t the only ones excited to get back into summer athletics. We are looking forward to seeing all the children out on the track, being active and catching up with all their athletics friends, both within the club and throughout the region.”

Excitement levels are also at fever pitch further north in the country’s largest city, where modified athletics has the green light under Alert Level 2.

“We are looking forward to welcoming all athletes, coaches, officials and fans back to the track,” says David Sim, chair of Athletics Auckland.

“Despite obvious challenges, 2020 has seen us increase our staff capacity, as well as athlete and coach numbers. This season will look a little different to past seasons but our comprehensive Covid-19 plan gives us confidence that we will be able to deliver quality experiences to our community.

“Our meets kick off on 10 October, and these will include open activities for children to come and try the popular Get Set Go and Run Jump Throw programmes, as well as a new secondary schools competition in conjunction with the McKinnon Shield, in preparation for the New Zealand Secondary Schools Championships in December.” 

Clubs are reminded that, even under Alert Level 1, there is still a need to take note of and follow government recommendations. This includes ensuring your club has a QR code in place, and that you encourage your community to follow good hygiene practices. Athletics NZ has information for clubs and centres in relation to Covid-19 on our website, including a club support resource with practical tips on how to structure your athletics club night under Alert Level 2 restrictions.

Further resources, can be found on the club support section of 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.