The 2020 Irish Life Health National Senior and U23 Track and Field Championships are set to get underway this weekend – but athletes living in Laois, Offaly and Kildare will not be permitted to compete.
This year’s championships will be run across nine sessions in Mortan Stadium in Santry – three on August 22, and two each on August 23, 29, and 30.
The government imposed Coronavirus-related restrictions on those three counties are set to be in place until Midnight on Sunday August 24 – meaning Laois based athletes will miss the first five sessions.
One of those restrictions involves movement and says that people should not leave their respective county save for essential reasons – but taking part in sport is not deemed one of them.
There are nine athletics clubs in Laois – St Abban’s, Portlaoise AC, St Michael’s, Ballyfin, Oughaval, Emo-Rath, Rosenallis-Kilcavan, Mountmellick and Ballyroan-Abbeyleix – but any of their members who live in Laois will not be permitted to compete or officiate.
A statement on the Laois Athletics Facebook page confirmed the news.
They said: “Regrettably the Sport Ireland Covid19 Expert Group has just confirmed to us that the government advice for residents of Kildare, Laois and Offaly now extends until midnight on Sunday the 23rd August 2020.
“The implications of this decision mean that at this stage any residents of these locked down Counties cannot attend the first weekend of the National Track and Field Championships as athletes or officials.
“We note that the government will be updating details of the lockdown this week and we hope for better news going forward.”