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Run Clonliffe run! The full return gets even closer!

Clonliffe Harriers are delighted with the announcement by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in the last few minutes of the further easing of Covid – 19 restrictions and the continued acceleration of the road to recovery. In particular we welcome the announcement of an almost full return of sport from Monday, June 29. Almost as exciting is the opening of hairdressers and barbers!

Forget training, get to that barber!

Clonliffe Harriers of course await further guidance from our governing body Athletics Ireland on the continued return to training and normal club activity. Hopefully this will permit the return of the U/13 athletes to training in Santry all of whom together with their long suffering parents have been waiting patiently! At present these athletes cannot return but hopefully on June 29. This website will be updated as soon as we have further news on that front.

Assuming all continues to go well it certainly looks like there will be a late track and field season for athletes. The club continues to work on the planned return of club races and our own club track and field championships.Hopefully early in July we can have a club race by way of a trial and then in mid/late July we can look to have our club junior/senior track and field championships. This time may also see a couple of the Dublin Athletics Graded Meets. August 8 and 9th will see Athletics Leinster hold the Leinster junior/senior/masters track and field championships. Leading on to August 22nd and 23rd and the national senior track and field championships at Morton Stadium.

Currently we do not have any confirmation of the position concerning juvenile Championships (again we will update as soon as possible)

Yet more groups back in training

Good to report on the continued increase in club training here in Santry tonight. Tonight there was a great turn out of athletes in the various groups all working under their coaches, split into the required groups, all observing social distancing and protocols put in place. Tonight saw the return of Graham’s group working under three coaches, with staggered start/finish times and in different parts of Santry Demesne. These athletes have all been involved in the Virtual Challenge (see previous postings) but tonight all met up for the first time since early March.

The Gangs of Santry Demsene

Also training in Morton Stadium, again, using their allocated time slots were various groups including Gerry’s sprints group, Eugene’s group, Philip’s, Pamela’s, Fogo’s, Noel’s, Joe and Stephen’s, the senior middle distance group under Peter and John’s senior sprints group.

As the restrictions continue to ease hopefully even more athletes can get back to the club. Again at the end of the month we expect news on possible track & field events. National seniors, according to media reports are penciled in for August 15th & 16th or 22nd & 23rd and according to athleticsireland.ie dates are provisionally planned for U/14 upwards competition in August & September. Will post further once we know.

Phase 2 allows groups of 15!

Brilliant news today with the government announcing an acceleration of the easing of restrictions commencing with phase 2 on Monday, June 8. Groups of 15 individuals may now meet to engage in sporting activities. This means therefore from a Clonliffe perspective that from Tuesday the 9th coaches can bring together a group of a total of 15, including coaches to train in Morton Stadium. Please note that social distancing of 2m still applies to all. From a club perspective we have updated our protocol document to take account of this and also the fact that the travel restrictions no longer apply in that any Clonliffe member living within the county of Dublin is entitled to travel to Morton Stadium for training. Coaches must still book track slots for the group 24 hours before the session giving their name, the second coaches name and the name of the athletes who will be at the session up to a maximum of 15 (including coaches) please also supply contact details for all. As per usual the booking is made by email to bookingsclonliffeharriersac@gmail.com . Individual club members not part of a training group can book the 8.30 to 9.00pm slot, again you must e mail with your name and contact details.To assist with the orderly running (no pun intended!) of the sessions time slots have been allocated to all groups as follows:

7.00 – 8.00pm Outside Hammer cage for Throws.

7.00-8.00pm Javelin on infield.

7.00-7.30pm; Philip O’Doherty/Maurice Ahern/Eugene Coppinger (lanes 1-4)

7.00-8.00pm: Gerry Carr (lanes 6 -10)

7.30-8.00pm: Joe Cooper/Peter McDermott/Pamela Cooper (lanes 1-4)

8.00-8.30pm: Mick Fogarty/Noel Guiden (lanes 1-3)

8.00-9.00pm: John Shields/ Ciaran Donohue (lanes 6-10)

8.30-9.00pm; Open for club members, not part of a training group, limited to 20 athletes

It is important that all stick to the rules, again no more than 15 (including coaches) per training group at a time. If your group includes more than 15 please spread the group over Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday morning if needed. Once again we remind all that it is the responsibility of coaches and athletes to be fully aware of the protocols in place and their responsibilities. Please coaches ensure that every athlete in your group has read and understands the attached protocols and also the document prepared by Athletics Ireland. (See also our Covid-19 page).

Please note that at this time athletics Ireland specifically exclude the return of the U/13 groups. The older juvenile group training under Graham Mahon will return to training in Santry on Tuesday, June 16, that group will not be on the track at this stage but will train in Santry Park. Parents will be notified through the WhatsApp group however if any parent is not in that WhatsApp group please contact Eugenia Bateson 0861722451.

Speculation Times

In today’s ‘Speculation Times’ we consider the potential impact of further opening of society, economic and social activity as we head to phase 2 of the Government roadmap and speculate on the possible effect on increasing Clonliffe Harriers club activity and the sport of athletics in general.

As matters currently stand, here in week three of phase 1 we have seen a very limited return to club training. Whilst currently restricted to junior and senior athletes (the guidance from Athletics Ireland currently prohibits U/13’s and O/70s), and athletes living within 5K of Morton Stadium the club has been in a position to implement protocols which has meant that groups of four have returned to training in the stadium.The only certainty, if it is possible to use that word during these times, on the changes envisaged under phase 2, which starts on Monday June 8, is the extension of the radius to 20K. That will mean a greater number of athletes will be eligible to come to club training however what can be done to allow more athletes return is entirely dependent on what the roadmap means by ‘small group teams’ and how many individuals that means. Social distancing, presumably remaining at 2m for phase 2, still must be maintained along with no physical contact etc. If an updated guidance issues from Athletics Ireland allowing more than 4 Clonliffe will follow suit.

We have been successful so far in dividing our track/field time into slots for various coaches, your coaches will do the best they can to get as many athletes training in Santry as is possible under the restrictions spread over the 3 days Clonliffe has stadium usage. You as athletes must however contact your coach and in turn it is your coach who will make the booking for the group. We must at this time strictly observe the requirement for bookings, the group structure and most importantly maintain absolute records of who was training at a particular time together with their contact details and details for all others in that particular group. Also social distancing must be continued to be observed.

At this stage we do not know whether phase 2 will allow younger athletes to return to limited club training. With the obviously challenges around social distancing it would, we speculate, seem unlikely. We will act as directed by Athletics Ireland.

Competition for juvenile athletes: the Dublin track and field leagues and Dublin track and field championships have been cancelled. It would seem that the prospects of national juvenile Championships later in the summer are remote, particularly for younger athletes. Possibly for the older age groups who are also junior athletes it may be possible for those Championships at national level to be incorporated into the national junior track and field championships. At the minute the club’s juveniles U/14 to U/16 are engaged in the Athletics Ireland Virtual Club Challenge.

Club competition: while the 2020 Grand Prix Series will not take place the club is actively considering the possibility of some of the club races and club championships. If possible and of course under whatever guidelines are in place at that time, the club would like to hold Clonliffe Track & Field championships, maybe spread over a couple of weeks in the late Summer/early Autumn. Likewise the club are keen to ensure that the Clonliffe 2 takes place later in the year, possibly as a time trial type of event on the road with limited numbers, or on the track under lights in the winter, maybe as a club only event, maybe as an invitational race but absolutely in some format. Likewise the club would like to run our club cross country races, many of which are by tradition handicap races with runners setting off individually in any event, but possibly this year with a twist: scratch off first! Rest assured whatever we do will be in full compliance with Athletics Ireland’s guidelines.

Competition for senior/master athletes: at present the Dublin graded competitions are simply being cancelled on a week to week basis and it would seem to be fairly clear that there is little prospect of a resumption of competition until possibly phase 4 from July 20. What a Graded meet might look like in this Covid – 19 era is also a matter of pure speculation. It is known that Athletics Ireland are keen to hold the national track and field championships. These championships were originally supposed to take place at the end of this month, World Athletics subsequently designated the weekend of August 8th and 9th as a national championship day. Under the Government roadmap Ireland will not have moved into phase 5 at this stage (that is down for August 10th) so that appears to be an unlikely date. The rumour mill is a date possibly four weeks later in early to mid September for National seniors with a national junior championships to take place the following week (again this is rumour and speculation only). Will a Masters track & field championship take place this (extended) season, again that is a matter for Athletics Ireland to issue directions on. There is an obvious concern surrounding the upper age categories but would it be possible for such a championship on a scaled back basis?

The road racing scene: this really seems to be an impossibility over the coming months. Already of course the Dublin Marathon, Dublin race series, rock ‘n’ roll half marathon and Athletics Ireland national road racing series have become victims and been deferred to 2021. If social distancing is to remain as a part of our lives going into the autumn and winter one would speculate that road racing and even the humble Park Run are pretty unlikely this year with the gathering of numbers at the start and finish areas. Staggered starts may be a solution but with road closures and insurance issues?

Cross country championships: the speculation is that cross country may be the best opportunity for a return to racing, open fields, no dressing rooms, possible controls on the numbers taking part may make an autumn/winter cross country season a possibility. And in the distance stands December 14th and the European Cross-Country Championships in Abbottstown Dublin……..?

The above is speculation and speculation only. Questions on all our lips but at this time without answers! Answers will ultimately come. When they do we will let you know.

Clonliffe back on Track!

It’s great to be in a position to report on the return to training at Morton Stadium last night of Clonliffe Harriers AC. The club very much appreciates the cooperation of coaches and athletes in adapting to the new way of going about our sport at these challenging times.

There were six different groups, subdivided into the required smaller groups of four, training last night. The dividing of the Clonliffe time into individual shared timeslots worked very well, likewise it was very pleasing to see the observation of the protocol for not coming onto the track until the allocated time and the continued observation of social distancing throughout (it is of course very strange and not the way anyone wants to do things but at present it is the way forward).

If we can continue these good practices the future looks an awful lot brighter. In particular, and sorry for once again banging on about this:

Groups to be split into subgroups of four individuals.

Social distancing of 2 m between all.

Do not attend if you are displaying any symptoms of Covid-19 or have been out of the country in the preceding 14 days.

Continue all current hygiene practices. Continue coughing and sneezing etiquette (no spitting!)

Book your athletes in 24 hours in advance.

Training continues again on Thursday with once again the same protocols in place (these will continue until further notice) coaches must make bookings and must notify us of all members in the training group taking part – email bookingsclonliffeharriersac@gmail.com – if there is a no-show email so we can amend the attendance record. Again it is of fundamental importance that we have the names and contact details of all in attendance at a particular time.

Athletes please note that you cannot just turn up you must make a booking for a place with your training group with your coach. If you are an athlete who is not a member of a training group there is a slot available at 8:30 PM – you must however also go to the same protocol with regard to booking as above. One further thing which must be observed is the completion of an athletics Ireland questionnaire which is attached below. Every person who is attending the training session must complete this and give it to their coach before the session. Coaches please collect these and give them to the Covid 19 safely officer – Noel Guiden on the night.

Are you training in Morton on Tuesday or Thursday?

Important notice for athletes and coaches: Clonliffe training in a limited way resumes in Morton Stadium on Tuesday the 26th. Please note that it is not at this time possible just to “rock up” and train. Government guidelines exclude groups of more than 4, therefore if your training group has 2 coaches you can split that group and have 8 (2 coaches plus 3 athletes). Club members who are not in a group may also train but at a specific time and with strict limits at this stage on numbers.

We need to keep records for possible contact tracing so we must know who is there with their details. All looking to train must therefore e mail bookingsclonliffeharriersac@gmail.com at least 24 hours in advance in the following format:

Day – Date – Timeslot

Lead Coach – Name – Phone no. – email

Second Coach – Name – Phone no. – email

Athlete – Name – Phone no. – email (required for every athlete training)

To allow as much use as possible time slots have been allocated: to each training group:

7.00 to 7.30 p.m. Philip O’Doherty group/Eugene Coppinger group/ Maurice Ahern group (Lanes 1 – 8)

7.30 to 8.00 p.m. Peter McDermott group/Joe Cooper group/ Pamela Cooper group (Lanes 1 – 8)

8.00 to 8.30 p.m. Mick Fogarty group/Noel Guiden group (Lanes 1 – 3) John Shields sprinters group (Lanes 6 – 10)

8.30 to 9.00 p.m. Individual club members – booking required (Lanes 1 – 3) John Shields sprinters group (Lanes 6 – 10)

Field Eventers: 7.00 to 8.00 p.m. Throws in outside cage

7.00 to 8.00 p.m. (Infield) – Javelin

8.00 to 9.00 p.m. Jumps (High Jump, Pole Vault, Long Jump)

All warm up off track/field. Allocated time only. Enter track at Clonliffe side or main track entrance only. All exits at 1500m start gate.

Please also read this:

Morton Stadium reopens Friday 22nd

Great news as Morton Stadium will this morning, Friday the 22nd re open to the public. Please note that at this time there is a strict limit on numbers of users at any given time and bookings are an absolute must. To access the Morton Stadium/Sport Ireland booking system use this link: https://sic.legendonlineservices.co.uk/enterprise/onlineticketing/browse

Clonliffe Harriers exclusive use of Morton Stadium re commences on Tuesday the 26th at 7.00pm, continuing then on our usual hours: Tuesday/Thursdays 7.00pm to 9.00pm, Sundays 9.30am to 11.00am. Again there are limits on numbers and to assist all we have divided our time into slots. Again bookings exclusively for Clonliffe through bookingsclonliffeharriersac@gmail.com are required. Please all Clonliffe members read the attached document:

Clonliffe and the return to Morton Stadium

We have now completed our body of work on the return to training Phase 1. Below you will find a comprehensive “Clonliffe manual”. We appreciate that there is a lot to read (there was equally a lot to write!), however the Committee appeals to all our members to read this and follow the guidelines fully. Please also read the Guidance from Athletics Ireland. (All the below is posted with the documents on the Covid-19 page – see menu above, of this web site)

The Government has laid out specific guidelines and criteria which must be met for public health reasons as part of phase 1. This phase commences on Monday, May 18th and provides that groups of four can meet up to engage in sport and training activities however the following must be observed.

You must be within a 5KM radius of where you are training).

You must be within the age categories directed (U/13’s and O/70s are excluded under the current government guidelines)

There can be no physical contact whatsoever between the members of the small training group.

Social distancing of 2M must be strictly observed at all times between members of the training group and the general public.

Please be mindful of other users of the park where you may be training (we are all aware that at present there is an anti-runner bias out there)

Train in a quiet park at a quiet time, we would strongly advise first thing in the morning or late in the evening (please ensure to avoid the hours of 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM)

Please observe coughing and sneezing etiquette.

Please refrain entirely from spitting.

Wash your hands before you leave home to go running, bring a hand sanitiser with you, do not press any pedestrian crossing buttons and if you are stretching do not use a railings or park bench or similar to support you while you stretch.

Do not share drinks, be absolutely careful that your drink bottle does not touch against another athletes drink bottle, do not handle another athletes drink bottle, it is vitally important that cross contamination is avoided.

If you have any symptoms of Covid-19 do not train, self isolate and contact your GP.

Morton Stadium will be avail for the return of Clonliffe Harriers on Tuesday May 26th.

Athletes and coaches must read the documents here carefully:

Clonliffe Return to training Phase 1 Download

Athletics Ireland Guidance for AthletesDownload

Athletics Ireland Guidance for Coaches Download

Click also for info from Sport Ireland: https://twitter.com/sportireland/status/1262403479341019136?s=09 

Back in the Game!

Tonight saw the return to group (small!) training for Clonliffe athletes. It was great to see athletes back training “together” after two months of solo work. With the club not using Morton Stadium until next Tuesday there were a couple of groups training on the walled garden loop in Santry Demesne, split further into 3 plus 2 doing 500s, whilst in downtown Whitehall another two groups, again 3 plus 2 went through their paces on a 600 loop. All ran to and from the venues for their warm up and fully observed social distancing throughout the sessions. Well done all. (We will publish our protocol on the return to Morton Stadium on Thursday).

Sarah, Alannah & Laura in Downtown Whitehall
Brian being put through his paces by Alana & Aoife!
Callum & Niall it’s good to be back in Santry Demesne
Later group, in Santry: Ian & Daniel
Ben, Lacey and Stephen raring to go!

Phase 1 of re opening: Stadium update

The Government has laid out specific guidelines and criteria which must be met for public health reasons as part of phase 1. This phase commences on Monday, May 18th and provides that groups of four can meet up to engage in sport and training activities however the following must be observed.

You must be within a 5KM radius of where you are training).

You must be within the age categories directed (U/13’s and O/70s are excluded under the current government guidelines)

There can be no physical contact whatsoever between the members of the small training group.

Social distancing of 2M must be strictly observed at all times between members of the training group and the general public.

Please be mindful of other users of the park where you may be training (we are all aware that at present there is an anti-runner bias out there)

Train in a quiet park at a quiet time, we would strongly advise first thing in the morning or late in the evening (please ensure to avoid the hours of 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM)

Please observe coughing and sneezing etiquette.

Please refrain entirely from spitting.

Wash your hands before you leave home to go running, bring a hand sanitiser with you, do not press any pedestrian crossing buttons and if you are stretching do not use a railings or park bench or similar to support you while you stretch.

Do not share drinks, be absolutely careful that your drink bottle does not touch against another athletes drink bottle, do not handle another athletes drink bottle, it is vitally important that cross contamination is avoided.

If you have any symptoms of Covid-19 do not train, self isolate and contact your GP.

As a result of direct consultation between Athletics Ireland and Sport Ireland it has been confirmed that the sport of athletics can return in a limited way from Monday 18th.Clonliffe Harriers are currently engaged in putting together the appropriate protocols and guidelines for our athletes and coaches and we hope to publish these next week. In the meantime the committee specifically requests that members do not use Morton Stadium during Clonliffe times until the week commencing May 25.

We have also clarified with the management of Morton Stadium their position with regard to reopening in phase 1. The stadium, not unexpectedly, also has a huge body of work to implement to ensure the safety of all users including staff, athletes and coaches. The management of the stadium are currently engaged in that task and expect that that work is going to take the best part of next week. Please note that Morton Stadium will not be reopening on Monday. The management of Morton Stadium are currently projecting a reopening of the stadium heading towards next weekend. When we have an update on the actual date of reopening of Morton Stadium we will post this on this site. In the meantime please note that Morton Stadium remains closed.

We request all members therefore to refrain from any usage of Morton Stadium until further notice. Whilst we very much appreciate that our athletes and coaches are anxious to get back to work there currently remains a risk in doing so until such time as appropriate and full preparations have been made, therefore we request that all remain patient for another week.In the meantime of course athletes and a coach (limited to 4 persons) can meet off site, observing the above criteria, for training. Clonliffe Harriers very much looks forward to seeing our coaches and athletes back in action in Morton Stadium as soon as is feasible.

Clonliffe Harriers remains committed to the guidance and direction of Athletics Ireland, Sport Ireland, the HSE and the Government.

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