IOM Athletics Phased Lockdown Exit Strategy – Using the NSC

It feels like a lifetime since we were last able to lace up the spikes and let loose but there is light at the end of the tunnel. With the recent easing of restrictions, IOM Athletics is pleased to announce that from Monday 25th May the NSC track will be available for use to some members of the Island’s athletics community.

As the Island’s athletics body, IOM Athletics has the responsibility to carefully balance the safe return of athletics whilst maintaining the safety of athletes, coaches, facility staff and the wider public. We have therefore opted to phase in the return to use of the track, as detailed below.

Whilst we understand this may cause some frustration to those not able to access the track immediately, we believe it is the best way to introduce a return to training while ensuring social distancing and keeping everyone as safe as possible.

The phases below are not intended to be standardised across the three sections – i.e. athlete access may be able to progress to the next phase at a point that equipment usage cannot progress. Athlete access starts with a prioritised and low-risk phase. The proposal not to return to indoor facilities such as changing rooms is made on the consideration of increased risk to users and it is worth noting that athletes are by in large training without toilet facilities at present. IOM Athletics also request hand sanitiser should be carried by all facility users.

Throughout the phases, an NSC member of staff will be on site to oversee the proper usage of the facility and to control the flow of users in and out. Understanding and adhering to the processes in place are key for the system to work so please make sure you are comfortable with the set up. IOM Athletics is committed to the safe return of Track and Field and will follow Government guidance at all points. The entire strategy is to be viewed as a fluid process with no strict timeline. The process will be under constant review and can be regressed/progressed as appropriate.

Athletics Development Officer, Mikey Haslett, has agreed to host an open Zoom call on Sunday 24th May at 20:00 to answer any questions and talk through the plan for a full return to use of the NSC.

Athlete Access Schedule

Phase 1

Athletes permitted to use the track during Phase 1 are:

  • Senior and U20 Athletes
  • Prospective Island Games Athletes (Inc. U17)*
  • Isle of Man Sport Academy Athletes*If haven’t already, you should submit a Declaration of Interest form to the IG Team ManagerTo access the track, all athletes/coaches must agree to the following:
  • Every athlete must be a signed up and paid member of an EA affiliated club* for the year 2020/21
  • All facility users to sanitise their hands before and after their session
  • Jumps and Hurdles are NOT permitted at this point
  • Over 70 or at-risk coaches/athletes NOT permitted as per Govt advice
  • Personal equipment must be used and cannot be shared – No equipment will be available for use from the NSC.*If financial support is required, contact Mikey directly

For information:

  • Access is arranged via a slot booking process through the NSC Outdoor Office. How to book the track
  • All bookings for the coming week are to be made with the NSC on the Monday where possible
  • Slots are for 55 minutes and are limited to 1 per day
  • A warm up area will be set up in Car Park 1
  • All bookings subject to the Government Guidelines for Sport
  • All bookings subject to the Terms of Use and Risk Assessment.  Please ensure you read both documents.
  • NSC staff member on hand to provide First Aid if required
  • EA Coaches insurance valid so long as coach follows Govt guidelines

Phase 2

U17 and U15 age groups are invited to use the track on the same agreement as Phase 1 and under the supervision of coach/parent.

  • Formal slot booking is still to be administered
  • Over 70 or at-risk coaches/athletes not permitted as per Govt advice

Phase 3

Remaining age groups are invited to use the track on the same agreement as Phase 1 and under the supervision of coaches as part of organised club training.

  • Formal slot booking is still to be administered
  • Over 70 or at-risk coaches/athletes not permitted as per Govt advice

Indoor access and use of equipment

(To be coordinated with NSC alongside Govt Advice)

Phase 1: No access to indoor areas and use of (non-personal) equipment prohibited. Wheelchair accessible toilet available from day 1 but to be sanitised after use.

Phase 2: Access to Toilets permitted. Equipment can be used but only NSC staff can access equipment store. Equipment must not be shared between athletes and must be sanitised after use.

Phase 3: Public Health and NSC to dictate the use of indoor spaces such as changing facilities, as NSC will be ultimately responsible for sanitisation given it is their site. Equipment usage to remain as phase 2 until IOM Govt declare safe to return to “normal practices.”

Phase 4: Full access to all areas and equipment

Field Events & Hurdles

Phase 1: Throws with personal equipment only. No sharing

Phase 2: Long Jump/Triple Jump.

  • Only 1 person allowed to use the rake and to be sanitised after use
  • Store equipment accessible but no sharing allowed and need to be sanitised after use

Phase 3: Return of High Jump, Supervised Pole Vault, Supervised Hurdles

  • Access permitted to NSC store equipment following standard protocols, obtained by a member of the NSC staff

Foxy’s 5km Challenge – The Century is Reached!

So far 102 runners have signed up to follow the training plans up to the first 5km Challenge which individuals run at some stage over the 5 days between 4th and 8th June. The aim is to run an individual time trial and send in your time and age to to record your result. Later in the week times will be published via Isle of Man Newspapers and IOM Athletics website and Facebook page.

It is never too late to join the challenge.

If you are keen to take part just contact Andy and work on the 2 week mini plan prepared for you rather than the full plan the first 100 are on. In addition we hope that experienced runners following their own plans and training will take up the challenge and join us by sending in their times and age as well as maybe a picture of their Garmin showing how far they ran.

If all goes well the intention is to offer all another 6 week plan with a 3km challenge half way though followed by another 5km challenge at the end. The hope is this will see some real improvements for all involved as well as maybe trying out some different racing distances and sessions to add variety and fun!.

So, keep active, keep running, get in touch and enjoy a motivating challenge!

Foxy’s 5km Running Challenge

Have you discovered running as a way of keeping fit during lockdown?

Do you need a challenge to keep you motivated?

Do you want some structure to improve your running, by getting fitter and faster?

Then perhaps Foxy’s 5km Challenge is just what you have been looking for!

Manx distance runner and coach, Andy Fox, has prepared a training plan to improve your running fitness with a monthly 5k challenge to monitor your progress. Round 1 will open between Thursday 4 June to Monday 8 June where you choose the location, the time and simply let your legs do the talking.

The training plan will be published each Thursday to help you sharpen up your fitness and will include a variety of running sessions to fit around your schedule throughout the week. There will also be some additional running hints and tips to help along the way.

All runners are welcome from those who have just started to those who run regularly and would have competed in local races and park runs. The results of each monthly challenge will be judged via both time and age grading, allowing runners to compare results across ages and gender. You absolutely don’t need to be part of a running club to take part, the idea is simply to support, motivate and inspire you to kick start or maintain your fitness levels in the current situation.

Please ensure you continue to respect social distancing rules and maintain “runners’ responsibility” by being the proactive one when meeting others on your runs. Where possible opt for quieter routes and times of the day when you will take on your sessions and challenges.

How to get involved:

We hope all runners, joggers, keep fitters, former couch potatoes or however you might class yourself will have a go and take part. If you are interested please email to register your interest by Monday 11 May and the first edition of the weekly training plan will be forwarded to you.

All results will be published on this website and our Facebook page. They will also feature in IOM Newspapers.

Keep running and get in touch!

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Statement

Following advice from England Athletics it is with sadness that IOM Athletics is suspending all athletics events with immediate effect until at least the end of April.

As a result, IOM Athletics advises that all face-to-face activity such as club training sessions, events, competitions, club committee and face-to-face meetings, athlete camps, running groups and social events should be suspended until at least the end of April.

The decision has been taken in the interests of athletes, runner, officials, coaches, volunteers, supporters and the wider athletics and running communities.  This decision is also in alignment with actions taken by athletic federations in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and is similar to action taken by other sports.

IOM Athletics will continue to review and monitor relevant advice and will provide further information in the coming weeks.

Further information can be found here

Anthony Brand
IOM Athletics



Cross Country Presentation Postponed

On behalf of the cross country sub-committee of Isle of Man Athletics, we sadly have to announce a postponement of the presentation evening for the Law Trust Cross Country League and Championships. This was to have been held on Saturday 21st March at the Claremont Hotel in Douglas.

Although the measures announced today by the Chief Minister in response to the coronavirus crisis did not include a ban on public gatherings, we feel that in the current circumstances it would be inadvisable to bring together a large group of people in a small area. Further, Andy Fox – who heads the cross country committee and was to compere Saturday’s event – is currently stranded abroad, and along with everyone else entering the island from tomorrow will have to self-isolate for 14 days on his return.

At the moment it is impossible to say when the event will be rescheduled. Apologies to everyone who had been looking forward to this event but we hope you will understand the decision to postpone.

David Griffiths