The BMAF and its operating company BMAF Services Limited have suspended all planned competitions until at least the end of June, in accordance with the government directive and statements from the home country athletics federations.
Meanwhile, athletes and runners at all levels are encouraged to maintain their own personal fitness and keep active during this time, whilst following government guidelines about safe distance and safe exercise environments.
The lockdown plus social distancing has focussed the running community on virtual races and BMAF Services Limited has decided to hold a virtual road relay over 5k in June, in which runners should team up with their clubmates to each run 5k on their own, close to their house without breaking the government guidelines and submit their performances to OpenTrack, supported by evidence of their time via Strava or Garmin. Entry is free but all competitors will have the opportunity to make a donation to MacMillan Nurses.
We are in the process of setting this up, but more details will appear in due course via the webpage
When competition is allowed to re-start, it is likely to be very local i.e. minimal travel, extending to area level events and large-scale gatherings will only be permitted when the risks of infection are minimal. Initially therefore, the BMAF will endeavour to support the return to track and field competition by virtual competitions based on performances in local competitions and to assist the BMAF area clubs to hold competitions for their members.
The BMAF road and cross-country programmes are likely to be able to proceed, as most events are planned for later in the year or they can be re-scheduled after competition is allowed to restart. The cross-country international in Dublin is also still scheduled to go ahead, but this is very dependent on the Irish government’s relaxation of restrictions on sporting events and foreign travel.
However, track & field athletes will not be back up to full competitive levels before the end of the summer season and there is a possibility that the government decides to continue the lockdown of O/70’s which will make it very difficult to getting qualified technical officials not to mention the risk to our older athletes and indeed to athletes within all our age groups. BMAF Services Limited has now cancelled the national championships scheduled for August and September. Instead there will be regional competitions outdoors in September if that is allowed and later in the year at various indoor locations.
This is obviously a fluid situation and we intend to publish regular updates.
Chaairman, BMAF Services Limited
24th April 2020.