Important News for all Clubs

31 October 2016

Athletics Northern Ireland and Ulster Athletics Council are aware of the unfortunate clash of dates with the Armagh International road race and the NI & Ulster Senior Cross Country Championships scheduled to take place within two days of each other ( 16th & 18th February). This date for the NI & Ulster Senior Championship is not the preferred date which is the following Saturday 25th February. However the Lurgan Park venue is not available on that date and  alternatives which, were considered were either not available or not thought to be suitable. Therefore the  decision was taken to  put the event on 18th February.  The week end of 11/12 February would still clash with Armagh but perhaps not as inconveniently. However it also clashes with the AAI Masters Championships and again this was felt to be unsuitable.  

Athletes and Clubs will know that it is becoming very difficult to avoid date clashes on events especially with the very large number of road races which are being organised and cross country races throughout the season must operate in opposition to road races.  In this case the view was taken that clash between a 5k road race and a 12k Cross Country race was not ideal but manageable. We must make it clear that we are fully supportive of the Armagh event and believe it to be a superbly organised showcase for our sport and are happy to support the event financially.

Given that this is our Senior Cross Country Championships we have some criteria which we believe should be adhered to when choosing a site for the event. These include :-

  • An appropriate course mainly on parkland type terrain,
  • Adequate car parking,
  • Sufficient changing and showering facilities for both men and women
  • Facility owners who are prepared to re-arrange other sporting events at the venue
  • A reasonably geographically central location in Ulster
  • Cost effective facility charges.

In our view there are not many venues which are suitable to hold our senior championships but we are more than happy to consider suggestions either for alternative dates or venues. If Clubs can help with the sourcing of such venues and with the organisation involved again that would be most helpful.  We are also more than happy to meet with appropriate club representatives to discuss the situation and consider whatever alternatives are suggested. However we do not consider social media to be an appropriate forum to debate such an issue.

If you would like to speak to an Athletics Northern Ireland member of staff on the above, please contact the Athletics Office via email, or on 02890602707.