England Athletics outlines proposed timeline for competition comeback

England Athletics has announced plans which outline the ‘restricted return’ of cross country competition.

Following a meeting held with, among others, the English Cross Country Association, the areas and some league organisers earlier this week, the sport’s governing body in England announced on Friday that a ‘proposed timeline’ has been agreed for the staging of cross country events.

Pilot competitions are to be staged from the middle of next month until mid-October, with the licence application process for events provisionally opening on October 5 and licensed cross country competitions provisionally able to resume from October 17.

Although the England Athletics statement warned that: “Cross country competition will be unable to resume in the traditional format, adaptations will have to be made based on the current circumstances regarding the virus,” it also added: “However, England Athletics believe this is an exciting step forward for the cross country community and we are currently working on guidance with the named organisations to support competition providers in providing a safe return to adapted cross country competition.”

It has been agreed that the first league fixture date of the season, October 10, has been cancelled. However, the following fixture list, which is subject to change, has been published*. The format of races will also be confirmed “subject to guidance”.

October 10: League 1 Cancelled
October 17: Area XC Relays (tbc)
October 31: ECCA XC Relays
November 7: League 2
November 28: UK Cross Challenge & European Trials
December 5: League 3
December 13: European XC, Ireland
January 9: County XC Champs
January 16: League 4
February 13: League 5
February 20: CAU IC XC & World Trials
March 6: ECCA National XC
March 13: League 6
March 20: World XC Champs, Australia
March 20: English Schools XC Champs
March 27: SIAB Schools International

The 2021 World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, Australia, has been included in the list, however ongoing coronavirus pandemic restrictions have forced organisers to explore alternative dates and last month postponement was requested.

*All fixtures are subject to confirmation by event organisers and subject to government guidance updates.

» For more on the latest athletics news, athletics events coverage and athletics updates, check out the AW homepage and our social media channels on TwitterFacebook and Instagram