A: Grange, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, Ireland | E: info@mullingarharriers.com

Phased return to training of all members (28th June)


Colm Walsh (Club Secretary) and Philip Burke (Covid-19 Compliance Officer) accepting a donation of hand sanitiser from Weir’s Pharmacy, which will greatly assist with the next phase of re-opening.


From Monday 29th June, Ireland begins phase 3 of the Government’s revised roadmap for reopening society and business. This phase will allow groups of up to 200 people to train outdoors and for children aged 12 years and younger to return to the Club, though we will be phasing in their return, starting with those born in 2008 and 2009 from this week, and then moving on to those born in 2010, 2011 and 2012 hopefully in a few weeks time. Athletics Ireland, working with Sport Ireland, has developed guidelines for athletics clubs, coaches and athletes to assist in their return to training and these are available to view on www.athleticsireland.ie and on the club’s website. Of particular relevance to athletes and parents is the “Athlete’s Guide”, which is a short document, and we’re asking everyone to please read it and make themselves familiar with its contents.

Many health and social safety measures will be in place during this phase. To best adhere to these measures, the Club is temporarily changing the training times for what has been the “6.30pm group” up to now. To avoid congestion when entering and exiting the Club, we have to stagger the arrival and departure times of the various groups. From Tuesday June 30th, boys and girls born in 2008 and 2009 (under 13 and under 12) will train from 6pm to 6.45pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays until further notice. We understand that the change from the usual training time might be inconvenient for some but given the circumstances it is the best option available to ensure the Club can accommodate this group of athletes. A word of caution though, you cannot just turn up at 6pm and expect to train – you have to book the session in advance or you will be turned away.

All sports clubs are required to electronically record everyone attending training. This is essential to comply with the “contact tracing” element of the guidelines. The Club has created an online training registration form to fulfil this requirement. A link to the registration form will be emailed to all current members in the relevant age groups. The form must be completed for EACH session that an athlete wishes to attend. In addition to registering their intention to train, attendance of all Club members at sessions will be recorded. Once again, this will be done electronically. It is very important that Club members report to the main doors of the clubhouse and inform a coach of their presence. Athletes must not join a training session until their attendance at the Club has been recorded.

Unfortunately, for now the Club is not in a position to bring our youngest members born in 2010, 2011 and 2012 back to training just yet. The Club is short on coaches and volunteers and unfortunately cannot accommodate the large number of juveniles in these age groups to the required safety standards. We hope to recommence training for these age groups from the week beginning 13th July if we can ensure we have sufficient supervision and the appropriate number of coaches available. If any parent or guardian is in a position to volunteer during training, either in a coaching or supervisory role, please send an e-mail to info@mullingarharriers.com. Many of our coaches and volunteers are parents just like you and had little or no experience before their first day helping. Supervision may simply mean an extra pair of eyes and you will be attending alongside an experienced coach who will lead the session.

Phase 3 also allows for the use of clubhouses and indoor facilities provided they are cleaned to a high standard. Mullingar Harriers does not currently use any professional cleaning services and lacks the volunteers willing to carry out such a service. The Club will therefore not be opening the changing facilities, the hall, or the gym during this phase and all members are asked to turn up ready to train. There will be access to toilets during training sessions if necessary.