In March, British Triathlon, the three Home Nations (Triathlon England, Triathlon Scotland, and Welsh Triathlon) and the Triathlon Trust, in line with other national governing bodies, suspended organised triathlon activity until at least 30 June due to the COVID-19 crisis. This position remains under constant review and has been amended as outlined below.
At this time, there is a lack of clarity on what lies in store over the weeks and months ahead. There is a divergence between the positions of the governments in England, Scotland and Wales and there is much speculation and uncertainty around the way in which the pandemic will develop across the UK and internationally. This produces a lack of clarity and therefore frustration for all.
In reviewing the suspension of activity, BTF and the HNs have followed the following key principles:
- The health and wellbeing of our community, and society as a whole, is our absolute priority
- To follow government instruction and play our part in protecting our NHS and emergency services
- Our preference is to make longer term decisions and provide as much clarity as possible to our stakeholders, as illustrated by our position below on events organised and/or administered by BTF and/or the HNs
- Where events are organised by other third parties, our aim is to provide as much guidance as possible but enable that organiser to make a decision that is best for their specific circumstances and aligned to government instructions
- To follow a path that enables agility to respond to changing circumstances
- We consult with numerous stakeholders, other sports and national sports agencies.
It has been widely mooted by medical professionals and politicians that social distancing will be in place for a considerable amount of time. Whilst social distancing is in place, BTF & HNs Event Guidance states that any mass participation event would have to involve a rolling start (i.e. time trial format) which is likely to affect capacity.
BTF and the HNs anticipate that the easing of restrictions for groups/gatherings might enable events to happen and that smaller events might return first.
The following five points lay out our position on the resumption of activity and are supported by guidance documents found here.
1. Events organised by BTF and/or HNs, BTF and HN Championships and Age Group Qualifiers
- All events organised by BTF and/or the HNs are cancelled or postponed until at least 1 August 2020
- There will be no British, English, Scottish or Welsh Championship races in 2020. Where possible, the championship status associated with a 2020 event will be transferred to that event in 2021
- There will be no Age Group Qualification races in 2020. Where possible, the Qualifier status associated with a 2020 event will be transferred to that event in 2021
2. Permitted Events organised by 3rd party organisers (all formats)
- In England, permitted events can restart from 25 July
- In Scotland, permitted events can restart from 15 August
- In Wales, permitted events can restart from 25 July for activity up to a maximum of 30 people
- BTF and HNs will review the government position in each of the three home nations on a weekly basis (commencing Tuesday 26 May) with the aim of providing event organisers and participants with as much advance warning of any relevant changes as possible to enable each event organiser to make a decision regarding the viability of their event. Significant updates will be shared with event organisers prior to being posted on the BTF website
- The aim will be to provide event organisers with as much information and guidance as possible
- Depending on government restrictions, this could see a phased award of event permits based on the link between the size of an event and any government restrictions on groups/gatherings
- EOs will need to meet all requirements in the BTF guidance document AND comply with all government instructions to secure a race permit;
3. All other forms of Triathlon activity
- Club activity that complies with the relevant government instructions is permissible. For more information click here.
- In England, group activity can resume from 18 July, under Covid-19 Secure guidelines
- In Scotland, group activity can resume from 10 July within Scottish Government Guidelines (different restrictions exist for adults and children, see Triathlon Scotland's guidance here)
- In Wales, group activity can resume from 18 July, under Covid-19 Secure guidelines
- Individual training activity is permitted in accordance with the relevant government instructions. For more information click here
- BTF & Home Nations will maintain a 1-week rolling review of their suspension of group activity such that a minimum of a one-week suspension will always be in place or the suspension will be lifted with one weeks’ notice
4. Elite Training
BTF and the HNs are working with UK Sport and the respective Home Nation Sport’s Councils for World-Class programme and Olympic and Paralympic Pathway athletes in accordance with government guidance. We are working closely with our athletes and training centres to provide a safe environment for training according to the restrictions within each Home Nation.
5. International Age Group Racing
BTF continues to liaise with ITU and ETU regarding the international race calendar and to represent the best interests of GB Age Group Athletes. Detailed and specific advice can be found here.
Any activity taking place in contravention of government instructions will not be covered by BTF insurance policies.
For more information please read our FAQs.
For the latest information on Coronavirus/COVID-19, please click here.