After a long hiatus from competition due to COVID-19, MTA athletes are finally going to get the chance to stretch their legs at the first cross country event of the season being hosted by 310 Running.
The Don Olson Classic will be held on Saturday, October 3rd at Albion Hills Conservation Area in Palgrave & will feature a 2.5K youth only race along with an all ages 5K race.
In order to make the event COVID safe, 310 Running has made several key changes. There will be 3 waves with a maximum of 40 athletes in each wave for both the 2.5K & 5K events. In order to support social distancing, individual athletes will be released to run every 15 seconds in a pursuit format. With the help of chip timing, final results will be collated after all waves have been run & winners will be declared.
The Ontario Government recently released a document called ‘A Framework for Reopening our Province: Stage 1’ wherein they specifically mentioned track and field as an activity that would be eligible to restart as of May 19th.
The MTA applauds this decision and is excited by the potential to see its clubs and members back on the track.
While track and field has been identified as an activity that is eligible for early reopening, there is still much work to be done to ensure the health and safety of our members and the community at large along with compliance with government and public health mandates.
Athletics Canada and PSOs from all provinces have formed the ‘Back on Track Task Force’ to develop a framework to ensure that safe return to training for all track and field athletes across the country. The MTA will follow the guidance of this task force and use its outputs to help create return to training protocols that our member clubs can leverage.
The expected timeline for return to training protocols is the end of May. After that, we will better be able to assess what our member clubs need to do to demonstrate compliance.
While we share your enthusiasm to get started as soon as possible, the MTA asks that our member clubs continue to refrain from in person team training until we have completed this very important work.
The MTA recognizes the challenges our members are facing in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. We hope, first and foremost, that our athletes, coaches, volunteers and all of their families are staying healthy and safe.
We also recognize the struggle for our athletes to stay motivated and focused on training while we are all staying home to help stop the spread of this insidious coronavirus.
The MTA Board of Directors is inspired by the resolve and creativity that we have seen among our athletes and we want to reward their dedication by doing everything in our power to provide them with an opportunity to compete, if and when, public health authorities give us the clearance to do so. It is clear that holding our MTA Outdoor Championships in July is untenable. By July we will likely still be under some social distancing restrictions and athletes will still be limited in their ability to train under the supervision of their coaches.
Accordingly, the MTA Board of Directors has decided to push back the outdoor season in the hopes that things resolve enough to allow public gatherings again.
As a result, the MTA Outdoor Championships will be delayed until September 12-13.
We are also working with our host clubs to schedule a couple MTA prep meets in August. We will share more details on this as they become available.
All meets are, of course, contingent on receiving clearance from the appropriate authorities and they may need to be organized in a manner that is new to our sport.
When the world is ready for track and field again, the MTA will be ready too.
For the most up to date information, please visit our new website mtaontario.com or follow mtaontario on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter
Regretfully, due to the COVID-19 crisis, the MTA and the host clubs made the difficult decision to cancel the last two meets of the 2020 MTA indoor season.
The United Tamils Sports Club Winter Classic scheduled for March 14th and the MTA Indoor Championships scheduled for March 28-29th will not take place.
The MTA will continue to actively monitor the COVID-19 situation and make decisions about future events based on the recommendations of the appropriate government and health agencies.
We understand the challenges this presents for our athletes, coaches and clubs and are sympathetic but it is paramount that we flatten the curve so we encourage everyone to stay home, stay safe and stay healthy.