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South Yorkshire

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South East

Castle Donington, Leicestershire

Saturday 15th March 2014

Preliminary Information

This page will be updated during the weeks leading up to the event as more details become available.

The 54th Boys and 46th Girls ESAA English Schools' Cross Country Championship is to take place at Castle Donington on Saturday 15th March 2014.

Donington is famously known for its motor racing circuit and is just a short distance from the M1, next to East Midlands Airport. The Championships will be on ground just to the north of the track.

Maps and directions will appear here in the weeks prior to the Championships - there will be advice on the direction of travel along local roads and the published travel directions must be adhered to.

The course is on private land with ongoing construction work and continuous movements of heavy vehicles. Therefore there cannot be any prior inspection of the Championship Courses before the actual date of the Championships.

Special Circumstances

The start, finish, and most of the public areas are less than 500m under the flight path of aircraft taking off from East Midlands Airport so we need to put in place special provisions in case of any air emergency.

We have been allocated two assembly points in case of emergencies - these are shown on the course map. In the highly unlikely event of any emergency, please listen to announcements and make your way to which-ever assembly area you are directed to. Point A is to the North of the flight path, point B is even further North.


Travel Instructions

Please note the few miles from the M1 is on a major road past East Midlands Airport and some congestion may occur.

Click the map to find an interactive map, destination postcode for SatNav is DE74 2RP.

From the North (M1/A50)
Leave the M1 at junction 24 then at the roundabout take the 4th exit onto the A453 (signposted Tamworth,Birmingham). At the next roundabout take the A453 (signposted East Midlands Airport, Diseworth, Donington Park).

Go past the Donington Park Service Area (MOTO), at the roundabout take the 1st exit onto the A453. At the next roundabout take the 1st exit onto the A453, go past the airport, then turn right into Donington Park.

From the South (M1/M42/A42)
Leave the M1 at junction 23A, then merge onto the A42 (signposted Stoke A50). At the roundabout take the 2nd exit onto the A453(signposted East Midlands Airport, Diseworth, Donington Park).

Go past the Donington Park Service Area (MOTO), at the roundabout take the 1st exit onto the A453. At the next roundabout take the 1st exit onto the A453, go past the airport, then turn right into Donington Park.

link to map


Car parking will be on hard-standing in marked bays to the South of the course - the location has had to be changed since earlier issues of this page.

Car parking charge has now been finalised at 7 per car but this includes a discount of 4 on entry to the motor museum on Saturday. However we can no longer afford to give away complimentary programmes - they will be on sale at 3.

The site plan shows the access point from the road and the route to the public parking area shown in blue.

The route for County coaches, officials, and disabled pass holders is shown in green.

Disabled Access

Reserved parking space has been allocated as close to the finish as possible. Blue Badge holders were asked to contact the ESAA to request a pass, giving the name and car registration number of the pass holder. However, it is now too late for us to issue any further passes.

parking map

About the Area

Donington Park has a number of hotels in and around East Midlands Airport: Best Western, Hilton, Holiday Inn Express, Radisson Blu Hotel, Premier Inn, Thistle Hotel are just a few. For further details look at www.donington-park.co.uk or www.booking.com or www.concerthotels.co.uk. Many other hotel websites exist, just search for 'hotels in Leicestershire'.

More information about the locality and places to stay can be found from the Leicestershire website www.leics.gov.uk


9.00 am - Championship site open for access.
9.30 am - Course open for inspection.
10.00 am - Declarations open
11.00 am - Officials meeting
12.00 am - Declarations Close and Championship Course should be cleared
12.30 pm - Intermediate Girls Championship
Followed by the Individual Presentation
1.00 pm - Junior Boys Championship
Followed by the Individual Presentation
1.30 pm - Junior Girls Championship
Followed by the Individual Presentation
2.00 pm - Intermediate Boys Championship
Followed by the Individual Presentation
2.35 pm - Senior Girls Championship
Followed by the Individual Presentation
3.05 pm - Senior Boys Championship
Followed by the Individual Presentation

Course Map

The course is over rough pasture land. As is usual the organisers reserve the right to alter the courses and their lengths at the last minute.

course map

Ground Conditions

In view of the amount of rainfall over the past few months there has been concern expressed by some about the Championships needing to be cancelled due to ground conditions.

We have been in contact with the Castle Donington management and their Estate manager, both of whom have assured us that Castle Donington will NOT under any circumstance cancel the Championships owing to the conditions underfoot.

On our last site visit, although the ground underfoot was wet, there was no standing water anywhere along the intended courses. There was mud, but this is cross-country!

It has also been decided that despite the dreadful weather conditions in some parts of the Country, the dates for closure of on-line entries and the extended time to correct any spelling errors will remain the same. Each County will make their team selections based on local conditions and their team managers' local knowledge of their potential County athletes.

County Coaches

As with any cross country event, athletes need to be aware that they will almost certainly finish the day quite muddy, so they must ensure that they have a clean change of clothing and footwear so that they can be allowed back on their team coach - coach companies really don't appreciate having their brand new coach seats and floors being wrecked! We recommend bringing suffient plastic bags to wrap up any kit that might cause damage to any coach interior.

Notes for Parents

Competing for your County Team can be a life-changing experience for children. For some, it is a stepping stone to future glory. For many, it will be the pinnacle of achievement.

For parents who may be concerned about what exactly is involved, we have prepared a document detailing what to expect, what not to expect, and a few indications of how things are, and why.

All ESAA events are conducted under the rules of UK Athletics (now referred to as British Athletics). You can find all their rules at www.british.athletics.org.uk.

Official Merchandise

ESAA event tee-shirts, sweatshirts, and other items will be available at the event from our official suppliers Sportserve / Inprints.

After the event you can contact them via their website.


Competitor Lists
Lists of all County Teams are published here.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure that names are spelled correctly, mistakes do sometimes occur. Competitors are asked to check these lists so that their name appears correctly in the programme, on the tee-shirts, and in the results. Everything to do with the event is prepared automatically from these lists so if your name is wrong here, it will be wrong everywhere!

Please ask your friends/colleagues/pupils to check the spellings of their names. Changes notified to us by noon on Sunday 2nd March will appear in the programme, teeshirts and results. Any errors notified after that time will appear correctly in the results, but are too late to be included in the programme or on teeshirts.

Please don't keep re-sending emails requesting spelling changes, one email is quite sufficient. Because of the high volume of mail we receive at this time of year we don't have time to reply to them. The team lists shown here won't be regularly updated with spelling changes - we need to split out the entry lists to go to the various printers and processors and it is too time-consuming to re-edit all the files here as well as those we use to go to print. This is an extremely busy time for us, however, spelling changes will be made in the files we use for printed material and results production.

Counties can enter up to 12 athletes in each age group, and 8 are allowed to run in the event. Names published here are not necessarily in selection preference order and your name appearing in these lists DOES NOT MEAN YOU WILL GET TO RUN IN THE CHAMPIONSHIPS.

County team managers will make their final team selections in due course and the lucky athletes will be informed either by post or by telephone - you would have been told what your local arrangements are when you filled in your availability forms at the County Championships.

If you find any spelling errors, please notify us immediately giving your County, Age Group, and the correct spelling.

Counties shown grey have not yet submitted their team lists.

avon    bedfordshire    berkshire    buckinghamshire    cambridgeshire    cheshire    cleveland    cornwall    cumbria    derbyshire    devon    dorset    durham    essex    gloucestershire    greater manchester    hampshire    herefordshire & worcestershire    hertfordshire    humberside    kent    lancashire    leicestershire & rutland    lincolnshire    london    merseyside    middlesex    norfolk    northamptonshire    northumberland    north yorkshire    nottinghamshire    oxfordshire    shropshire    somerset    south yorkshire    staffordshire    suffolk    surrey    sussex    warwickshire    west midlands    west yorkshire    wiltshire    channel islands   

...so why is it so hard to get the spellings right then? Many might just be typing errors, but for interest, in 2009 there were 824 different firstnames, and 2277 different surnames, many of which can be spelled in different ways (even spelled can be spelt in two ways!). Frequently, athletes' names can be passed on to team managers via two or three people, often by phone.

The nature of County teams means that the team managers aren't in daily contact with athletes and quite often they've never come across them before. In such cases it is all too easy to hear a name by phone and spell it as one thinks it should be - sometimes schools don't have the correct spellings in their own files. Some names just have too many spellings - even William Shakespeare couldn't spell his own name consistently from day to day!

Look at some the variations just of firstnames we've seen in recent years - all of these have been verified to be real:

  • Beccy, Becki, Becky, Becy, Beki
  • Darryl, Daryl, Darill
  • Eliot, Eliott, Elliot, Elliott
  • Freddie, Freddy
  • Georgie, Georgy, Georgi
  • Hannah, Hanna
  • Jonathan, Jonathon, Johnathan, Johnathon, Jonothan
  • Kayley, Kayleigh
  • Martin, Martyn, Martainn
  • Mathew, Matthew, Mattheus
  • Michael, Micheal
  • Philip, Phillip, Phillipe
  • Rachel, Rachael, Racheal
  • Rebeca, Rebecca, Rebeka, Rebekah
  • Robin, Robyn
  • Sammy, Sammie
  • Sara, Sarah
  • Stacey, Stacie
  • Stef, Steph
  • Stewart, Stuart
  • Teresa, Teressa, Theresa
  • Thomas, Tomas, Tomaz, Thomass
  • Vicki, Vicci, Vicky, Vikki
  • Zac, Zak

...the list of alternative surname spellings is just too long to publish here but Johnson, Jonson, Johnston, or Johnstone; Thompson, Thomson, or Tompson; and Howarth or Haworth are regulars! Then there's the whole load of Mc and Mac families to recognise.

Finally, thanks to Tom Cox, Ben Cox and Tom Guy who have the easiest names to check!

Permissible Clothing

The ESAA Competition Rule 7 [i.e. that applies to ALL ESAA competitions] on page 62 of the ESAA Handbook states:
  1. In all Championships competitors must wear at least vest and shorts (or equivalent clothing) in registered County Colours which are clean and so designed and worn, as not to be objectionable even if wet. All visible clothing must conform with registered County colours.

To deal with some specific queries therefore:
  • Cropped bra tops are not vests by definition and therefore not permitted. Vests by definition must reach the waist at least.

  • Shorts or briefs (in County colours) are the norm for girls. Similarly cycle type lycra shorts, as long as they are shorts and not leggings, are permitted, but only if they are in the registered County colours.

  • Leggings by definition covering the leg below the knee, and body suits or tights, are not vests or shorts and are therefore not permitted.

  • County Colours are those defined by, and issued by, the County Association, not just an approximation of the colours. For instance, if the County Colours are red with blue shorts the red must be the same shade red and the blue must be the same shade blue as those issued by the County.
The main problems in the past have been the wearing of cycle type shorts that are not in County colours, and worn under the correct coloured shorts but clearly visible. This especially applies to the boys where the cycle type shorts are longer that the County shorts. However, if the shorts are the lycra type and do not cover the knees then these are allowed, as long as they are in the registered County colours (ie. the same colour as the County colours, not an approximation to them). The pictures here indicate the sort of clothing that will result in athletes not being allowed to compete.


All ESAA competitions are subject to the strict anti-doping policies of British Athletics and IAAF. Further information can be found on the ESAA anti-doping page.

Health & Safety

Athletes are advised that Health & Safety regulations recommend that you should examine the course for potential hazards before competing.

The course will be checked by the organisers and a risk assessment conducted. A final inspection will be made on the morning of the event and any issues arising will be addressed then.

The course is on mixed-use land which is grazed by farm animals. As a matter of normal daily life, we advise that athletes and spectators check that they are up to date with anti-tetanus injections - don't forget that you need a booster jab every 10 years.

Any competitor who has concerns about a safety aspect on the course should bring it to the attention of the organisers immediately. If the issue cannot be resolved satisfactorily, the competitor will be advised not to participate in the event.

Photographs and Videos

Photographs of ESAA events might be published in the athletics press, local media, and on this website. All ESAA photographs are taken in accordance with the guidelines relating to photos in schools    published by the Information Commissioner with regard to the Data Protection Act 1998.

Photographs and videos can be taken by the public from public areas for personal use only. They may not be published in any form (including on personal or club websites) without written permission from the ESAA.

Most ESAA competitions are held on private land and are therefore deemed to be 'not public' areas. All ESAA events are SCHOOL events and are therefore covered by regulations governing what can and can't be done in schools. One important point therefore is that you are not allowed to take photographs of school activities for commercial publication without specific written permission from event organisers. This is no different to the fact that one cannot simply walk onto a school playing field and start taking and publishing photos - most parents, and the Information Commissioner, would strongly agree that school activities should not be published unless publication is under strict control.

Photographers at ESAA events wishing to publish photos in the media or in any other form (eg. internet websites), or wishing to use them for anything other than personal use must be officially registered and accredited by the ESAA, and register the use to which photos will be put, and to obtain permission for that use. Permission WILL be retrospectively withdrawn if anyone is found to be in breach of the uses which they registered with us, and under such circumstances, the offender will be required to delete all images they hold from our events.

This therefore precludes operators who simply turn up, make videos, then publish them with associated advertising which is outside of our control. No one has permission to do this unless they have written consent from the ESAA.

We are aware that some people register themselves as press photographers then publish complete videos of our events online, and even make their broadcasts available for sale. This is very specifically not allowed. In effect, they are broadcasting companies making television programmes without our permission. It doesn't matter how they publish their content, whether by television over the air or via the internet, or via DVD. The fact they broadcast our event content to the world makes them broadcasters.

To be an accreditted broadcaster for the ESAA, they need to be properly established companies, properly registered and regulated by the broadcasting authorities, and they need to be properly registered with the Information Commissioner. Also, in order to sell their content they need to have been given written permission to sell what is our copyright, and pay the necessary royalties due to us. They also need to comply with the UK Distance Selling Regulations in order to take payments from the public. There is also the very important fact that under the rules of UK athletics, televised athletics events in the UK need to be authorised by the UK Governing Body. The ESAA operates under these rules.

A list of officially accredited photographers will be published on this website shortly after the event along with their contact details.

It is not possible to prevent photographs of any particular individual from appearing in the media. If this is a problem for you, you are advised not to take part in the event. If any parent wishes a particular picture of their child appearing on this website to be removed please contact us and we will do our best to resolve any problem.