Guernsey Athletics to stage first meet of British summer season

Guernsey Athletics will put on the first competitive track and field of the British summer season with a streamlined competition planned for Footes Lane next Sunday.

The sport will follow the lead of cricket, cycling, and triathlon by returning to action after the island's move into phase four of its exit from lockdown.

Guernsey has not had a new confirmed case of coronavirus for more than a month and currently has no active cases.

"Not only will it be the first event to take place in the British Isles, but of course it is the first meet to take place on the newly refurbished track. So there is a lot of significance surrounding it", said Guernsey Athletics' Tom Druce.

"A lot of work has gone in at various levels to get to this point and I’m excited to see some live athletics both on the track and in the field."

"Because we are unable to host endurance or under-18 events, the meet will be quite small with regards to participants, but the quality is going to be there", Druce said.

Ongoing social distancing restrictions mean the club will limit the schedule to short sprints and throws, with the women's 100m set to be the focal point of the meet.

"I’m really excited to get out there and start my season. Things have been going very well in training despite the lockdown, and particularly now we can train on the track properly", said Guernsey sprinter Abi Galpin.

"It will be fun to go and race over 100m first and particularly knowing that I will be UK number one if I win the race, it’s obviously odd circumstances, but I’ll take it!".

"I think we are extremely fortunate to be in this situation – being the first meet in Britain and perhaps even in Europe", said the 19-year-old Bath University athlete.

An 800m race is also on the list of events and could look very different to usual, with athletes to be required to stay in their lanes throughout.

A start time for the meeting is still to be confirmed.