Update

COVID-19 Update


As we know we are now in Phase 3 of exiting COVID-19 restrictions, and  Scottish Athletics issued their updated guidelines last week in line with the Scottish Government advice. Details of the current Scottish Athletics Guidelines can be found here. Please take some time to have a ready through the guidelines, especially for the clubs & groups.You will see that we are still restricted on the numbers on our groups.

The Committee met last night to review the guidelines and talk through the implications for Orkney Athletic Club. Whilst the ease in restrictions have made it easier to start to resume some form of training, our problem now lies in the fact that our regular facility is not currently open, and as yet no date has been given as to when this may happen. I have spoken with Orkney Islands Council about alternative options, but currently the 3G pitch at KGS would only be available until mid August. After that the availability would have to be reviewed. I am waiting to hear back from them about possible other options, and I will let you know as soon as I hear anything. 

So at this time, the Committee have decided that no Club training will resume until the schools go back in mid August, at the earliest. This will give us time to make sure we have a suitable training facility while we wait for The Pickaquoy Centre to re-open. We will also need to have a number of different measures in place so that we are complying with both Scottish Government and Scottish Athletics guidelines. Athletes will have to book into training sessions so that we have a record of who has attended, so the booking system will need to be set up.. We will also have risk assessments, and COVID-19 specific procedures to follow. Once we have a venue and a specific date, I propose to set up a Zoom meeting with all athletes and their parents so that we can talk you through what training will look like.

I know you will all appreciate that this is a difficult time to navigate, and that the guidelines are ever changing, so we need to adapt with each change. I don’t want to bombard you with all the details now, but I just wanted to touch base and let you all know that we are working hard behind the scenes to try to move things forward. As soon as we know more I will be in touch again.  

Many of our athletes have continued to train on their own from home, and we know that certainly the athletes hoping to compete at the Island Games in Guernsey next year are in touch with their relevant coaches and continuing to train. If any athletes would like further input from their coaches with training plans, then parents can contact the coaches or myself, and we will be happy to help.

Chair


We are still actively looking for a fantastic person to take on the role of Chair at the club. We know that person is out there, so please if anyone has any suggestions or a slight inkling that they may be tempted, then get in touch. 

Virtual Events 


The Virtual events continue to take place through both Scottish Athletics and locally. Please keep an eye on the Facebook page and website for updates. This is a great way to keep up some form of competition. We are currently in the first week of our second SUPERteams Challenge, with 20 athletes competing, so it is great to see some of our younger members taking part. Ian Sutcliffe is still taking entries for the  Shopping Week 10km taking place next weekend, 24th-26th July, and we will plan to hold a Virtual Kirkwall 1/2 marathon the weekend of the 14th-16th August. The feedback from athletes taking part in these Virtual events has been really positive and we would love to see more of our athletes become involved. 


Once again I am sorry I’m not emailing you to let you all know that training can now resume, but I hope you understand the difficulties that we face. I certainly feel that we are edging closer to a solution, but we aren’t there just yet. The safety and wellbeing of our members is, as always our highest priority, and we have to make our decisions based on the guidelines from Scottish Government and Scottish Athletics, and the facilities that we have available to us. If anyone has any questions or queries then please feel free to contact me, and again I would encourage the athletes to keep training at home, and we cant wait to see them all back when training can resume.

Many thanks for your continued support.
Kim Hamilton
Club Development Officer

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