The Youth Development League has decided to cancel the 2020 season. This is their full statement:
In the light of the continuing uncertainty around the Coronavirus situation the YDL management committee held a Skype meeting on 29 March to look at all the possibilities for the 2020 season and have decided regretfully that all matches scheduled for the 2020 season will be cancelled forthwith.
There were a number of factors influencing our decision, namely:
· Whilst government guidelines have forbidden mass gatherings until the end of May, it’s by no means certain that this won’t be extended, indeed if one were to use other countries as a model, it’s more than likely that this will continue for at least a further month if not longer.
· We have been made aware that first aid support from St John’s Ambulance at meetings is likely to be withheld until at least the end of June.
· We are aware that a number of tracks intend to extend their closure until June or July at least.
· We felt that it would be helpful to clubs if we were to make a definitive decision so that they have as much notice as possible to cancel tracks or transport arrangements to avoid possible charges.
· With the limited number of weekends likely to be available for competitions, there would be undue pressure on those dates, and clubs and athletes may be more willing and able to compete at a more local level than having to travel some distance to compete. This being the case we have requested that any dates previously allocated for YDL, be reserved for clubs who wish to organise local and open competitions.
· We wish to support the Home Countries in their endeavours to try and salvage what remains of the 2020 season, and hope that our decision gives a little clarity to a confusing situation.
· We also considered the duty of care owed to our officials, some of whom may have to undertake a 12-week isolation period, which takes us well into June.
There are continuing costs involved in keeping the league working towards next year, and we can assure clubs that individual match team fees collected for 2019-20 will be automatically credited towards meeting the match costs of the 2020-21 season.
This decision was based on advice being communicated at the Government daily briefings where restrictions may be turned on and off and has not been made lightly; we would like to ask our clubs for their forbearance and thank you all for your support. It’s not a situation of our choosing but we hope that being pro-active will help clubs with any forward planning and help cut down any additional costs being incurred.
We also ask our clubs to please pass on our sincere apologies to all those athletes for whom this season would be their last opportunity to compete in YDL. We are aiming to keep a watching brief of performances of all the athletes who would have hoped to compete in the league this year and wish them all the best in their future athletics career.
Good luck and the very best wishes to you all.
Grace Hall (Chair)