Some of the north-east’s top athletics stars will be able to access the outdoor track at Aberdeen Sports Village (ASV) from this week.
ASV has been closed since March 20 and, although the general public are still barred from the site under Scottish Government coronavirus restrictions, Team GB sprinter Zoey Clark – who is preparing for the delayed Tokyo Olympics – will be among those allowed to the use the track outside the building.
A statement said: “The move follows lengthy discussions with athletics coaches in the city, keen to get local Team GB athletes like sprinters, Zoey Clark and Kelsey Stewart, back on track with their stringent training plans as they look ahead to next year’s performances.
“ASV has taken the lead from other top-class sporting facilities across the country which have started to support competitive athletes, and measures are being taken to ensure that the facility is meeting the current required guidelines and advice from the Scottish Government and Scottish sporting organisations.
“Coaches and athletes will not be given access to the building in the city’s Linksfield Road and will only be permitted to use the eight lane 400m outdoor track whilst fully abiding by regulations, including social distancing.”
Clark has been posting frequently on social media as she attempts to stay in peak condition, despite the issues thrown up by the Covid-19 crisis:
ASV chief executive Duncan Sinclair said this was a cautious first step in a phased re-opening plan: “ASV is used by a number of British and Scottish competitive athletes so we recognise the importance of supporting them, to get their training back on track and we were keen to work with their coaches to help them make this happen as soon as we could. It also gives us an opportunity to fully test ASV’s Covid-19 procedures safely and cautiously.
“In terms of a re-opening plan, we have been working behind the scenes on a detailed and thorough strategy to ensure we have well-thought through measures in place. Now that the Scottish Government has moved into phase two of its recovery plan we will be looking to safely extend access to our outdoor facilities more widely over the coming weeks.
“ASV is such a large facility with brilliant outdoor space which will be of huge benefit in offering our members a safe and open training environment when the time comes. These have been a difficult few months for us as a charity organisation, so we are delighted to welcome our performance athletes back to the 400m outdoor track in what will be the first step towards getting the facility operating again for our loyal members and visitors.”