An Athletics Club at the time of Covid-19
Like many around the world, our athletes and our club have all been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Back in March, we suspended training inline with the Governments social distancing guidelines. But our coaches were not going to leave their athletes without support.
Across the club, coaches adapted training plans, posted videos and shared online encouragement. While we couldn’t train together in person, they created virtual competitions to keep athletes motivated and offer a welcome distraction from the pandemic.
Our members also provided support for one another.
Across video conferencing platforms training groups made an effort to have weekly meetups. These didn’t start and stop with running but provided support for everything from bereavement to redundancy.
If ever there was a time when our members came together and supported each other through difficult times, this was it.
You build a special bond with those who you train and race with, and through the Covid crisis, these friendships have been invaluable.
Throughout this crisis, our members have been there for each other.
Several months later, on the day that the government announced that they would allow small training groups, our coaches leapt into action.
Within hours of the announcement being made, they had developed risk assessments and resumed training.
Government guidelines would not allow us to meet as usual, so our coaches met with three or four groups of athletes a day, often spending two or three hours coaching.
The dedication that the club’s coaches, all of whom are unpaid volunteers have shown throughout this crisis has been exceptional.
During the lockdown building work has continued on the redevelopment of the track at Churchill playing fields.
In a few weeks, North Shields Poly will take possession of this. While the club has made its home at Churchill for many years, for the first time, the club will have a lease securing our future there.
As North Shields Poly emerges from this crisis, we know that many members have been hit hard by Covid-19 and the economic hardship that has accompanied it.
But the strength of spirit that we’ve seen in the club has been inspiring.
Whatever comes next we’ll take it on together.