Club Statement: Clarification re Facilities

It has been brought to the attention of the Executive Committee that not all members of CHAC are aware of the latest guidelines for training.

We apologise if this has not been communicated sufficiently.

During Covid19 and since the relaxation of Government C19 rules in August, CHAC have followed the guidelines as set out by our NGB ( England Athletics) which are also stipulations on our hire agreement and ensures our members are insured to coach and train – being mindful of the local situation regarding numbers of cases in Colchester and respectful of other users of the facilities (Hockey Club, Football etc). The Committee are also mindful that the Army (who own the land on which the  track is based) are still following a different pathway to most of society (a conversation between Chair, Dave Smith and Sodexo 15/11/21 confirmed this in light of raised terror threat).

CHAC have a duty of care to all its members, some of whom, have felt less comfortable being part of large group sizes or wishing to coach / train in close proximity to other groups.

Since August, Sodexo (the Management Company to whom the Club are responsible to) have continued to allocate CHAC “Athletics” keys which have to be collected and signed for by a designated CHAC Officer or Coach from Melville Barracks at the start of each booked session and returned at the conclusion of training.  The keys unlock the side gate and Changing Rooms 4 and 5 (the switches for external lights are also located here). (The side gate was the allocated entrance and exit for CHAC by Sodexo in order to mitigate cross contamination of C19 to other users of the grounds.)

After reviewing how training had been carried out both prior to and during Covid restrictions, it was decided by the Executive Committee (whose membership includes representation of both Sub committees, Welfare Officer and other Officers) that the hire of the track would remain extended from 6pm to 9pm (this has more recently been reduced back to 8.30pm due to the lack of numbers on the track) and that training squads would remain in Coaching Groups with allocated training times.   This decision was made after careful consideration and was driven by the need to satisfy our Risk Assessments with safety of all members being of paramount concern.  The decision ensured that all members were able to continue to train safely and effectively in their desired events.  An earlier start time has since been agreed between the Chair and Chair of Endurance Sub Committee for Senior Endurance.

From August the changing rooms, toilets and Pegasus Clubhouse were fully re-opened for use by Sodexo. The one-way system and mandatory wearing of masks which had been implemented by Sodexo during Covid was relaxed to allow members to meet and consume beverages in the bar.

At the Committee meeting  on 21 October it was discussed that some senior endurance athletes wanted to meet under the Pavilion as had been the case Pre Covid.   At present this area is still taped by Sodexo with gaps for entry into the changing rooms and toilets. Because of this and out of respect to the coaching groups who have a base in this location and who would be training from 6pm, and out of respect and convenience to members of the Hockey Club and athletes (including Juniors) who may need the toilets during their session, this area needs to remain clear.  

Other locations were put forwards as alternatives for where athletes could meet up –  including inside the Clubhouse to ensure that members feel they are able to enjoy some warmth and social time prior to and after training.

Sodexo as yet have not given clearance for the Club to have full access to the equipment which is owned by the club, and which is stored in one of the black sheds.  However, restrictions on this are gradually being eased.

Sharing of personal equipment should still be kept to a minimum. If apparatus is used by multiple athletes appropriate cleaning between users is recommended.

Anyone with symptoms of Covid should refrain from attending training sessions and should follow the latest Government guidelines.

The Committee remain in conversation with Sodexo on all matters (including requests re-entrances, lights and equipment shed) which have a direct effect on the smooth and safe running of CHAC sessions and continue to negotiate on behalf of its members.  Once a reply has been received this will be communicated to Members.

More recently there has been a wider mix of training groups using the track – which has seen a broader range of events once again being coached. 

We therefore politely ask that you familiarise yourself once again with the agreed set of track rules and etiquette to ensure your safety and enjoyment and the safety of other users. These rules are commonplace at track facilities across the length and breadth of the country and have been in place at CHAC for a number of years. 

Only members of Colchester Harriers should be training during a CHAC session unless prior arrangement has been agreed by Officers of the Club.  This ensures athletes are Insured should an accident occur.

•         Lanes 1 & 2 – Endurance (including faster and longer speed endurance sessions 400/800m runners)

•         Lane 3 – Buffer Lane (overtaking)

•         Lanes 4-7 sprints (including sprint drills)

•         Lane 8 – spare / hurdles

•         Walk back / recoveries must be done off the track or lane 8 if free.

•         Straight after reps, step off the track to continue the recovery period.

•         Athletes never walk across the in-field at any time to get from one side to the other.

•         Be aware at all times when on the track or just crossing over. Use common sense at all times. Adults please set a good example for our youngsters to follow.

•         We have young children that use the track at the same time as the adults. Everyone needs to be respectful of this and refrain from spitting on the track (This is also a Covid 19 risk) as well as swearing.

•         All athletes are required to dress appropriately so as not to cause offence to other track users’ – a minimum of shorts and vest/crop top are required during training sessions.

•         Athletes refrain from running clockwise on the track during busy sessions

•         Respect other coaches and other athletes at all times.

•         The wearing of headphones is prohibited at all times whilst warming up/ training.

The Committee will shortly be publicising and sending out to all members The Codes of Conduct as per UKA guidelines.  These will also form part of a new system when members join the Club.