Welsh Athletics slams delay on outdoor sport in Wales as ‘illogical and ‘disappointing’
Welsh Athletics has issued a plea to the Welsh Government to bring forward the date for outdoor group activities to re-start.
The organisation is the governing body for the sport of athletics in Wales and the public call by its CEO James Williams is an unusual move.
The Welsh Government announced today that organised outdoor activities for up to 30 people would not be able to take place until 2 May, if cases continued to fall.
Welsh Athletics said that they were “disappointed” with the delay and that it was “illogical”.
“Despite the well proven benefits to mental and physical wellbeing that sport and exercise provides, the date for return of activities for those aged 18+ has been delayed further,” James Williams said.
“Albeit we have constantly advocated and supported a cautious approach to the easing of restrictions, the positive trends in respect to the spread of Covid across Wales should now provide an opportunity for a wider return for sport and organised activities.
“Our sport is predominantly an outside activity that can be delivered in a socially distanced way – with all available evidence suggesting that it is has extremely low risk of spreading the Covid virus.
“To delay the return of activities that have proven to be safe whilst enabling other activities that do not fit into the same category seems illogical.
“Welsh Athletics is calling on the Welsh Government to review its return plan, and to bring forward the date that group activities can re-start.”
Mark Drakeford had said earlier that the aim was to gradually ease the restrictions.
“With the weather improving, with more opportunities to see family and friends, there are reasons for optimism,” he said.
“However, we can’t let our guard down yet. We all still need to be vigilant, we still need to do our part to keep this deadly disease at bay.
“Thanks to a real team effort across Wales, coronavirus cases remain stable, and the vaccination programme continues apace,” he said.
“As a result, the Welsh Government has the headroom to continue its careful, step-by-step approach to relaxing restrictions.
“The review we have concluded this week, means we can continue with our programme of further re-opening of the economy and loosening the restrictions in place.
“The sacrifices we have all made are having a positive effect in the battle against Coronavirus. This last year has been incredibly difficult for all of us and again I want to thank everyone for their efforts.”