Club Training Sessions - Update from Club Chair, Keith MacIntosh

Just a quick update on where we’re up to in terms of restarting group activities under the Windmiler name. Unfortunately the short version is 'not yet'.

It’s great to hear about members meeting up with one another, now that it’s permitted again. Those social contacts are an important part of club life. But for any organised club activity we are obliged to go through some broader checks before we’re able to offer any official Windmiler sessions.

The latest England Athletics guidance confirmed that before anything can happen, every club needs a ‘Covid-19 Coordinator’ to ensure risk assessments are in place and a ‘club plan’ is developed (which will then be reviewed regularly). Only activities that have gone through that process and are part of the ‘club plan’ would be valid and insured. British Triathlon have also issued cautious guidelines about the possibility of small group sessions being permitted again.

Things are underway. Anne Davies has very kindly agreed to act as coordinator, and it’ll be a team effort to do all the various assessments that will be needed.

To give you an idea of some of the factors, in addition to the distancing and hygiene requirements, we also need to review which locations and facilities are appropriate, and to run trial sessions. We need to be very conscious of any other users of the same space, and the potential impact on our reputation if there are any problems. We need to consider which of our coaches are available, as this determines how many sessions are possible (max 5 athletes per coach). We need to find a practical way for members to sign up, as capacity will be limited.

There’s quite a lot to go through and EA have stressed that clubs should tread carefully, rather than rushing to restart or pushing the limits. So bear with us.

Even when we are able to restart, it’s worth emphasising the importance of individual responsibility. You’ll need to make your own decisions about what is safe and appropriate for you. You’ll need to ensure that you’re behaving in a sensible way in a session (and getting to/from it). Just because the club offers something won't mean it happens without risk. And different people will have different views on what is the right thing to do.

So I’m sorry that we’re not yet able to offer anything in terms of official club sessions. But there are possibilities to run with other members so if you’re happy to do that, we can start to restore Windmiler connections in the real world rather than just on Zoom. If you’re in need of a run buddy, you’re very welcome to use the club FB Group for that (just remember that you’ll need to think about the risks for yourselves).

We’ll update with more news once we have some. Remember to sign up for the newsletter if you want to get the latest info (eg about a really interesting talk on Zoom next Mon).

Constructive suggestions (whether virtual or real world) are always welcome, either to chair@windmilers.org.uk or to Anne at secretary@windmilers.org.uk.

Keith