From Chris Cohen CBE,English Schools AA (March 28th 2020):
I am sure you have been anticipating this email for some days now, but I am writing to let you know that ESAA has taken the very difficult decision to cancel the Track & Field Championships this year. We had looked at a variety of possible contingency plans, but, in the end, the fact that this virus doesn’t look as though it will allow schools to open in the near future, that many of our officials may not be able to support us on a third day, and, in fact, some would not be able to take part as they have been told to stay at home for three months, we have been forced to accept defeat and look forward with even more enthusiasm to next year in Manchester.
Thanks to the hard work of Paul Ponton, our treasurer, who has worked with our travel agent, to ensure none of the hotels would charge us an early cancellation fee, we now know that our costs will be minimised, though, sadly, not completely removed.
This also means that the Home International will not take place, but I have offered the SIAB that we would wish to host it next year instead at Derby, assuming we can get the agreement of the local authority, which we would expect would be no problem.
We still hope to stage the Combined Events and Race Walk on the original date in September, but I have asked Iain Presnell and Dick Bowden to look at how we can operate this with no preliminaries or regional rounds. This will, of necessity, require some form of pre-selection, but, if we are still able to stage it, if the crisis is past, then we will keep you updated as to how this would be done within the size of the normally held event.
I’m sorry to be the bearer of such disappointing news, but I’m sure you appreciate that we have done everything we could to try to stage the event, and will look to the future and better times.
Please stay safe and well.
I will update you with our other plans later.
This may free up dates for the county to use for the County Track & Field Championships in July or September as it is important to get athletics up & running when we come out the other side! Stay safe all.