Practice sessions could restart in days as ACU issues latest update

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CLUBS may be back on track sooner than expected after the ACU issued its latest update, which names practice and training sessions among permitted activities from next month.

Riders have been waiting on tenterhooks for the latest guidance from Number 10 to name motorsports as a permitted activity, and it seems their wishes have started to come true.

The news follows plans laid by the sport’s governing body earlier this month which detailed an extension of the original competition permit suspension until the end of June, at which time (July 4 to be specific) the government’s Stage Three of lifting lockdown is due to kick off.

But further guidance from earlier this week has allowed the ACU to open official directives one step further and include both practice and training from as soon as next week.

While trackdays have already started across the UK, clubs should now be able to run non-competitive sessions officially.

Following directives gathered from the government’s latest guidance, the ACU issued a statement this evening regarding the upcoming easing of restrictions on the sport:

“Training will be allowed to take place for participants aged 16 and above.  It goes without saying that in all circumstances, social distancing measures must be respected.

“A risk assessment has been produced by ACU Head Office which will be distributed to all ACU Coaches and the guidance given within that document must be strictly adhered to.

“Training activity is restricted to 16 years and above in accordance with the latest UK Government guidance and until otherwise notified, the ratio of training is restricted to one Coach to a maximum of three riders, ie. a small cluster. Details will be issued by ACU Head Office, when it is considered suitable for these numbers to be increased.

“…A Risk Assessment must be supplied which outlines the Control Measures put in place to ensure the safe running of a training session before a Permit is issued. Permit applications can be accepted with immediate effect for Training activity to commence from 1st June.

“With effect 1st June, permit applications may be sent to the relevant Discipline Secretary to apply for a Practice Permit for practice events to commence from 8th June.

“It is stressed that this is not for competition but for practice only and participants aged 16 and above.

“…In all circumstances a Risk Assessment must accompany a permit application to demonstrate that Control Measures put in place are suitable and sufficient and considered to be as low as is reasonably practicable to reduce the risk of infection and to maintain Social Distancing measures. ”

While this may mean many racers could be flocking to circuits soon, ACU Chairman Roy Humphrey has cautioned those who may be zealous to twist the throttle.

“The Directors are well aware of the eagerness of many who wish to get going and get started back in their sport as soon as possible,” Humphrey said. “Apart from the love of the sport and motorcycles, this will give everyone a lift and help our mental wellbeing.

“We, as the Governing Body have a responsibility to ensure our Sport, our Clubs and Members adhere to current UK Government policy with regard to Covid-19 and as such we must all do what we can to minimize the risk of infection by maintaining our social distance. The last thing we or anyone needs is a second peak now that restrictions are slowly beginning to ease.”

A summary of relevant dates:

Activity  Permit Application Date  Event Date
Coaching/Training 27 May 2020 1 June 2020
Practice Events 1 June 2020 8 June 2020
Competition Events 15 June 2020 4 July 2020

*Image: Martin Corfe

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