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Coronavirus update 14th January 2021
The English Schools Athletics Committee, in conjunction with Kent Schools AA have been working
since January 2020 on the planning for a 2021 championships at Hop Farm, Kent.
The planning continued throughout the summer, autumn and winter on the hope that the
pandemic would subside enough to allow some form of an English Schools Cross Country
Championships. We even considered postponing the event and moving it to an April or May
event on the hope we would get some additional time to plan and to see if the pandemic and
government announcements allowed for more grass roots sport.
It will come then as no surprise to you all, and particularly because the pandemic has increased
its ferocity over the past couple of months and with schools closures, the English Schools
Committee have taken the decision to cancel the 2021 championships.
This is obviously a decision that some of you were asking us to make some time ago,
but we felt that in order to give the championships any hope of taking place, we wanted to
give ourselves as much time as possible to wait to see if things improved.
It is of course not just the logistics of the event, we also know the Department of Education
play a big part in the decision about school sport, travel, residential, and school closures
during this pandemic.
I can announce that Kent Schools AA have offered to host the championships in 2022,
for which we are very grateful. It makes complete sense with the amount of planning that they
put into the 2021 event. The proposed date is Saturday 12th March 2022, hopefully at Hop Farm.
I would be very happy to hear from any county who would like to consider hosting the event in 2023
and beyond. I can offer complete support to your offer of hosting and if you would like to discuss this
further, please drop me a line.
I would also like to announce a Virtual English Schools Cross Country Championships
for this year.
Further details will be sent to County Secretaries after I have finished the planning. In brief, it will require the
athlete to run a 2k or 5k course (depending on age group) at a venue that has a measured course already.
Park run courses are ideal for this and this will be our suggestion as part of the rules.
A simple google form will allow the athlete to send their times in, along with a verification from a
coach or teacher. New Balance will support this event with prizes and merchandise for athletes.
This will also be a County Team event.
I thank you all for being patient during this time and look forward to sending out details of the
virtual event soon and better news about the 2022 championships.
English Schools Cross Country Secretary
The ESAA National Cross Country Championship is the most eagerly anticipated event of the winter
for young athletes.
Organised entirely by volunteer teachers, we bring together the best athletes in each
of the 46 Counties in England to compete for the honour of being the best in the Country.
Entry to the event is by virtue of athletes being selected by County Team Managers to represent
their County. County Championships are normally held in late January or early February and a preliminary
County Team is then selected. One or two weeks later,
County Teams may compete between other neighbouring Counties in an Inter-County match, after which the team to
represent the County at the National Championship is finally selected.
Teams comprise a maximum of 12 athletes, of which only 8 are allowed to compete. The first 6 finishers in each
team count towards the team competition - finishing positions are added up, and the team with the lowest
score wins. If teams are tied, the team with the highest 6th finisher takes precedence.
In addition to individual championships, there is also a team competition between Counties. The Inter-County competition is
split into 4 groups, where each group contains Counties of similar sizes as defined by the number of eligible pupils.
The team aggregate results reflect each group: big Counties, medium, not so big, and little Counties.