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Posts from — January 2021

XC Equalisation of Distances; Statement from the ECCA and 3 areas

Please find below a joint cross country “Equalisation of Distances” statement on behalf of ECCA and the 3 Areas which has been placed on the SEAA website.
The SEAA is keen for all athletes to make their views on XC distances known to UKA by answering the on-line survey. We urge all to complete the survey – if you put 0 (zero) into the question re distance that events should be equalised at, you can then proceed to the later questions and add your comments there.
Alternatively, could you please email DAN ISHERWOOD – disherwood@englandathletics.orgto voice your concerns and views. He has agreed that he will feed any views, sent directly to him, into the subsequent discussions. The survey is available at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/crosscountryequal.
The Cross Country representatives of the Northern, Midland & Southern Areas and the English Cross Country Association held their inaugural meeting, on the 14 th January 2021. This is the first of a series of meetings aimed at delivering a unified response on behalf of the sport of cross country through the sport’s major competition providers and in particular within the coming discussions with UK Athletics and England Athletics over the controversial issue of equalisation of cross country distances.
It is worth emphasising that these organisations have been organising the Area and National championships for the sport of cross country for many years. They do this without any support or input from either UKA or England Athletics. None of the athlete registration fee income or the club affiliation fee income paid to England Athletics is routed directly into the sport of cross country.
The events, the selection and development pathway for athletes and representative teams are all organised by volunteers and funded by event entry fees. The people involved also voluntarily organise and deliver local leagues and County Championships in their areas. The sport is in the ascendancy in terms of numbers and local events.
We know, from contact with our championship competitors, that the vast majority have made it clear over the past two or three years that they are not in favour of equalising distances. Northern Athletics will be carrying out its own survey over the coming weeks to ascertain the views of its affiliated clubs and their athletes.
Our unified group look forward to considering the results of the recent UKA survey but we are, however, convinced that that survey is flawed and the questions skewed to obtain a certain result. Both the ECCA and the Areas had been asked to comment on the proposed survey prior to its launch. Our concerns regarding the questions were sent to Donna Fraser and requests were made that the survey be sent only to the people involved with cross country. The detailed e mail on the questions from the ECCA was not acknowledged and no reply has yet been received. The reply to Northern Athletics from Donna Fraser stated that equalisation was not a matter of whether but how. The survey then went out without our concerns being considered. We are concerned this unfortunate approach may be indicative of the future.
The survey is biased, as it only allows respondents to state how equalisation should be achieved not whether it should happen. We know that this has caused many of those, who wish to state their views, not to complete the survey. We are also concerned that, in the first week or so of the survey being live, it was possible to make multiple submissions; and whilst this now appears to have been corrected, we believe this could invalidate the survey results.
We also know that many of the athletes who we would have expected to have received the survey link have not done so. The above reasons justify our position that the survey is flawed. It is apparent, from the extensive views expressed on social media, that the “pro and anti-equalisation” camps do not agree but we are encouraged that many successful and experienced cross country runners and coaches have outlined genuine concerns, about athlete welfare, retention and development, as these are key concerns for us – particularly for female athletes.
We accept, as is their right, that some organisations (Scottish Athletics and Essex County) have taken the decision to equalise distances to 10Km. However, many other organisations and leagues have decided, after consulting all their members, to retain the unequal distances for Senior, (including European Athletics) Junior & U17 age groups. Early indications are that both Wales and Northern Ireland are not yet convinced by the equalisation aims. In addition, emerging analysis, which compares the results and performances of equalised distance events with the unequal distance events, shows that the equalised distances impact adversely on the performance of the female athletes and as such appear unfair to female performance.
We urge all those who love the sport to complete the survey and make your views known especially in the box provided for further comments.
Our unified group will continue to represent the majority views of those in the sport and we look forward to the open debate and discussions as promised over the coming months. We will continue to discuss at subsequent meetings the need to ensure our sport of cross country does not have imposed upon it rules which are against the wishes and feelings of the majority.
ECCA and the Area Associations

January 24, 2021   Comments Off on XC Equalisation of Distances; Statement from the ECCA and 3 areas

Hillingdon 20

The provisional date for the 2021 Hillingdon 20 is Sunday 5th September 2021. Entry details will be posted in the spring. Club members please save the date. Plenty of help will be required to put on the race.

January 11, 2021   Comments Off on Hillingdon 20

Virtual Pub Crawl

**No consumption of alcohol is required in this latest challenge**

About thirty years ago (yikes!), myself and brother-in-law Phil Talbot used to organise the Rayners Lane Tuf Ten; ten Km, 10 pubs, ten drinks, curry to finish. The latest Virtual challenge is a homage to this.

As quickly as you can, you need to go to 10 places where you can (normally) drink an alcoholic drink without needing to have a scotch egg or a substantial meal.


Pubs – Yes

Boarded up pub – No

Sports Clubs with a bar – Yes

Supermarkets – No

Restaurants – No, unless you can enjoy a drink in a bar without having to eat (like the Miller & Carter near the clubhouse)

Your time and distance starts when you leave the first pub and finishes when you get to the tenth. I am fully aware they are shut, you just need to go to the door/entrance.

You need to submit to gavin.collett@jti.com your time and the distance in miles covered, along with your date of birth.

I trust you all implicitly, but I do reserve the right to ask you your pubs/route.

Please adhere to Government guidelines at all times.

You have until midnight on Sunday 17 January.

It’s all in the planning this one; Martin Searle, Andy Wood, fire them computers up, get them maps out.

It’s looking as though we will be without real races for a little while longer, so I am proposing to do a Virtual 10 miles towards the end of January and a Virtual Half Marathon towards the end of February; just a bit of prior notice if any of you want to adjust your training for a few longer runs.

Stay safe everyone, miss you all.

Cheers /  Prost / Santé! / Sláinte / Salute / Cin cin / Na zdrowie / Saúde / Salud / Iechyd da / Sei gesund


January 10, 2021   Comments Off on Virtual Pub Crawl

EA guidance update 5th Jan

Dear Members
I’ve posted the updated guidance from EA issued on 5th January below. This necessary, but regrettable, guidance means that club activities for all adults and junior members are affected. The mental and physical health of all our members, their families and loved ones is the priority through these difficult and challenging times so please read and adhere to the guidance until further notice.
Following the UK Government’s announcement on Monday 4 January of a new national lockdown, regrettably guidance for athletics and running must reflect these enforced Covid-19 restrictions across England.
As a result of everyone being required to stay at home, except for specific purposes as outlined by the UK Government’s guidance, the impact on our sport includes the following with immediate effect and until further notice:
The suspension of all face-to-face indoor and outdoor club / group activity.
The suspension of all indoor track and field competitions.
The suspension of all outdoor competitions including track and field, cross country, road, trail, fell and multi-terrain running.
The suspension of all face-to-face coaches’ and officials’ education.
The suspension of any other face-to-face club / group training sessions, events, athlete camps, running groups or other social events as well as club committee or other meetings.
Indoor gyms and facilities will remain closed.
What can take place?
The UK Government has confirmed that elite sport is able to continue in line with the strict protocols and measures that are in place. Similarly, organised outdoor sport for disabled people can continue and we will provide further details on this once we have the required information from the UK Government.
The UK Government has confirmed that individuals can exercise with one other person either from their own household OR outside their household. This is limited to one occasion per day and the individual should not travel outside of their local area
Virtual training sessions can be delivered by qualified coaches
Virtual competitions can still take place. Click here for a list of virtual road races
England Athletics will continue to coordinate the Weekly 30
Anyone taking part in any virtual activity should at all times observe the above restrictions.
We are currently seeking clarity from UK Government on 1:1 coaching and will provide an update as soon as possible.

January 6, 2021   Comments Off on EA guidance update 5th Jan