The Czech Athletics Federation announced that it will be 'back on the track' with a six-meeting series to launch in June.
The Czech government's plan to ease restrictions imposed to control the new coronavirus pandemic will open 100 stadiums across the country to athletes from 1 June. That, coupled with the decision to allow public gatherings of up to 50 people from 25 May, has allowed the national governing body to organise a series of six "micro-meetings". The first, set for Sletiste stadium in Kladno on 1 June, will officially kick off the season and will be broadcast live by the Czech national broadcaster CT.
Programmes and details are still being confirmed, but the Kladno meeting's timetable will include a women's javelin, men's shot put and men's 300m. Czech stars Barbora Spotakova, Tomas Stanek and Pavel Maslak have already confirmed their participation - and they can't wait.
"I'm really looking forward to the first competition, even if it is in a limited mode," said Spotakova, the twice Olympic and three-time world champion in the javelin throw.
"I'm glad we will be together with many other athletes throughout the Czech Republic at the start of the season, although more or less symbolically, from a distance.”
The remaining five legs, whose dates will be announced later, will include other disciplines.
"Athletes want to compete as soon as possible and our federation has found a way to arrange events with a limited number of fifty people," said Libor Varhanik, Czech Athletic Federation president.
Varhanik added that elite competition is not the initiative's only component.
“We want to engage athletes of all age categories and performance levels."
To that end, more than 100 additional competitions will be organised for children and youth athletes across the country on 1 June. The aim of the initiative, Varhanik said, is for all athletes to be together, at least symbolically, at the start of this year's competitive season.
"That's why we jumped in together on the first of June at 100 and more athletic stadiums under the slogan, ‘Back on the Track’." Varhanik said the federation put out the call to its regional and club organisations over the weekend to gauge interest for the first meeting. "According to the responses, it will be enormous," he said.
The "Back on the Track” project will be connected across the country via social networks, providing video and photo coverage with the hashtag #BackOnTheTrack.
Federation officials stress that all competitions are being organised to align firmly with government rules expected to be in force on 1 June.
Czech Athletics Federation for World Athletics