Athletics Malta has announced a major reform in the organisation of non-stadia events aimed at improving the quality and athlete experience at these events though the establishment of a label series. This announcement was made at the back of the recently granted approval by health authorities allowing such events to be organized once again.
In a seminar addressed to club representatives, Athletics Malta, as the sole body entitled to sanction such competitions,presented the new structure based on gold, silver and bronze labeling. These events include classical road running races such as marathons, half-marathons, 10k and 5k races where official records can be attained, as well as non-classical events such as trail runs, mountain running, cross country races and atypical distances. The new system will come into place from as from January 1st, 2022.
All races will be required to observe and respect the applicable World Athletics rules and regulations. Over and above, the different labels then add requirements related to the event organisation, traffic management, athlete experience, medical support and financial considerations.
In 2020, the last full year prior to the disruptions brought by the pandemic around 50 such events were organised across Malta and Gozo, attracting the participation of some 10,000 local and international athletes.
Andy Grech, Athletics Malta President, said that this reform and the introduction of a labeling systems will bring higher standards in event organisation, safety, participation experience, besides the application of the World Athletics Competition Rules and the support from public authorities to the event:“We hope to increase the local level of road running from an organisational point of view as well as a technical point of view and ultimately the overall enjoyability of all involved. This will help to attract international athletes and increase the possibility for local organisers to host World and European Athletics accredited events locally.”.
Duncan Abdilla, who will be coordinating the implementation of the new structure on behalf of Athletics Malta said that although the new regulations will require race organisers and clubs to step up their game, Athletics Malta is willing to assist them in various ways, including through logistical and marketing support as well as by providing access to beneficial rates related to insurance or accomodation facilities which the federation has already secured”.
Photo credits Cassar Photography.