FULL UKSA STATEMENT AND DECISIONS
The UK Sports Association’s Trustee Board has considered how, when, and by what means there will be a return to Virtus European and World Championship programmes for British athletes.
Whilst Virtus has announced its intention to host a variety of events in 2021, they do so with caution, and in the knowledge that Local Organising Committees and Virtus itself may need to cancel events, and at short notice. This is due to the ever changing conditions around the pandemic.
The UKSA Board of Trustees has considered the following:
- Continuing UK Government restrictions and advice
- Foreign and Commonwealth office advice on international travel and restrictions, including isolation times
- Ongoing uncertainties around lockdown, health risks and timelines
- Athlete’s lack of and limited opportunity to appropriately train and the inability to restart training in light of Government guidelines and rules.
- Virtus guidance to Local Organising Committees on return to competition
- Availability and lack of UK wide national events programmes
- Other factors, including individual risk and financial implications
The primary concern of the UK Sports Association and its Partners is ensuring the continued safety of athletes, coaches and participants.
For the above reasons and given the on-going uncertainties, high levels of risk and lack of any immediate opportunity for training and preparation, there will be no physical face to face GB representation at Virtus events in 2021.
The UKSA Board will continue to monitor the situation. UKSA will make another announcement in the autumn given the ever changing position and the need for the UK to respond appropriately.
2021 Events Plan:
For 2021 UKSA will focus on the following events plan:
- Promoting and enabling entry to virtual competitions throughout 2021
- Planning with its Partners to establish how and by what means a return to GB representation will be achieved in 2022.
- Eligibility and classification applications for Para sports, 2021 Virtual events and an anticipated return to competition in 2022.
Planning for 2022:
As a multi-sport organisation, UKSA will invite National Governing Bodies of Sport and other Stakeholders to join a ‘Return to competition’ Forum. This forum will work together to establish guidance for managing a safe return for UK athletes, coaches and volunteers to Virtus events in 2022.
An on-line forum for athletes, coaches and families to engage directly with UKSA throughout 2021 will also be established. It is expected that the first meeting will be in March 2021.
The UKSA Trustees acknowledge the difficulties athletes, coaches and families have experienced throughout 2020 and now in 2021. We thank you all for your patience, support and help through these very difficult times.
UKSA and everyone involved with our work look forward to the day when we can once again stand tall amongst our international friends and showcase the extraordinary talent of British athletes at Virtus European and World Championships.
We look forward to a safe return to sport as soon as we are all able.
UKSA Board of Trustees (26 February 2021)
SUMMARY OF UKSA STATEMENT AND DECISIONS
The UK Sports Association Board of Trustees agreed at its February 2021 meeting that:
- There will be no physical face to face GB teams travelling to Virtus events in 2021.
- UKSA will encourage entries to virtual events on the Virtus calendar.
- UKSA will also encourage entry to other quality virtual opportunities in the UK and elsewhere as they become available.
- UKSA will focus on eligibility and classification of athletes for virtual events in 2021 and Virtus events in 2022.
- UKSA will continue to work with the three Paralympic sports in eligibility and classification to ready athletes for NGB Para programmes and IPC/IF Para events.
- UKSA will invite NGB’s and other Partners to a ‘Return to Competition’ Forum to begin planning for a safe return to Virtus events for British athletes in 2022.
- UKSA will host an on-line meeting for athletes, coaches and families in 2021. The first meeting will be set in March.
For official Government guidance on COVID-19 see the following
Northern Ireland https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/coronavirus
For accessible guides on COVID-19 and vaccinations
Statement published 26 February 2021