Return to Play at Pembrey took place on Sunday 6 September as one of three test events sanctioned by the Welsh Government as part of its review into returning to mass events.
Having submitted an application to the Welsh Government, Welsh Triathlon were selected to host a test event alongside an outdoor theatre performance and motor sport event to examine how events can operate in a safe, Covid-19 Secure manner.
Return to Play at Pembrey was organised and run by Welsh Triathlon in partnership with Carmarthenshire County Council and Pembrey Country Park and saw a cap of 100 participants set.
“We had various Covid-19 Secure measures in place across the event,” commented Beverley Lewis, CEO of Welsh Triathlon. “Some were more obvious like the time trial start and no spectators, whilst some filtered more naturally into the event, such as a wider run course, more spacing in transition and flow controls around the site.
“All participants and volunteers were also required to complete two health questionnaires prior to the event and the race briefing was delivered online via video in advance.
“We’ve had excellent support from the council, park and government with lots of hard work and effort put into arranging the paperwork, logistics and delivery of the event.”
With multisport events permitted to take place in England and Scotland, the easing of restrictions in Wales has been more cautious.
The reports, learnings and feedback from Pembrey and the two other test events will be presented to the Welsh Government ahead of the next review of their Covid-19 regulations on 11 September.
“Following the success of this test event, we hope to demonstrate how events can return safely in Wales,” Lewis said.
“Working within the regulations and to the joint guidelines of British Triathlon and the Home Nations, we’ve hosted a successful and safe event that shows that there is scope for a return to mass participation events.”
Participant feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with some commenting on feeling safe and excited to be back, with others on how the volunteers more than made up for the lack of spectators.
“The volunteers and participants at the event were simply fantastic,” added Lewis. “I’ve got to say a huge thank you to the volunteers who helped put the event on and participants for following the guidelines to keep us all safe.
“Events and competitive racing will return in time if we continue to be patient and work with our communities, staying considerate of the safety of the Welsh public.”
Participants in Wales can view Welsh Triathlon’s return to play guidance on the button below.