Friday 13th March 2020

The PHX Board have met to discuss our response to the current Covid-19 crisis. While the issue is playing out on both a national and global stage, we also feel that the problem is OUR problem, and we need to play OUR part in tackling it within our club and community.

The Board feels that while we can, for now, continue with all our regular activities, this needs to be done in a responsible way that (so far as possible) protects the health of our club mates and does not cause additional risk or damage to the wider community in which we all live, work and play.

Can we all please start to think seriously about how each of us can change our behavior in order to help control this epidemic - and not make it any worse. 

We set out below the salient parts of England Athletics’ advice (full statement can be found on their website)

“As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, England Athletics would like to ensure that all athletes and runners, officials, coaches and volunteers are aware of the following advice from Public Health England (PHE) recommending that the following general cold and flu precautions are taken to help prevent people from catching and spreading COVID-19: 

•      cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze. 

•      put used tissues in the bin straight away 

•      wash your hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitiser gel if soap 
and water are not available. 

•      try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell 

•      clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces 

•      do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean 

•      athletes and runners are entitled, should they wish, not to shake hands or 
have any other form of physical contact with their opponents or officials” 

What we feel is a responsible approach would be to adopt the above recommendations and that we all agree to go a little further than this. The Board cannot impose any rules here, what we would like to do is to facilitate a club-wide agreement that we all act in a certain way in response to this huge problem (crisis).

·Can we all agree not to shake hands, high-5, back-slap etc. We don’t need to have physical contact and it is an obvious cause of transmission.

·Can we all agree that no one comes down to the track, or attends any other group activity, if they are at all unwell

·While no one is being excluded on the basis of their age, the science seems pretty clear that older people are more at risk of being seriously affected in the event they contract this virus. If you are potentially in this group would you consider the risk to you of attending any of our group activities?

·Spitting on the side of the track. We don’t normally spit in our daily life, but hard training does lead to some of us engaging in this practice. Can we agree to completely stop it? 

These are not rules, they are suggestions for how we might/should agree to change our behavior in an effort to protect ourselves, our friends, our community and our Health Service.

Club member Matt Greenall has written a really excellent blog on this topic, its highly recommended; see

We would ask that Parents and Carers of our young athletes discuss and explain these measures with their children. And please get in touch if there anything else you can suggest that could help to keep us all safe.


Best wishes

Mike Townley