Inverness and Aberdeen could hold significant cross-country races in the early months of 2021 – depending on Covid-19 regulations.
Ally Love, the former Aberdeen AAC track team manager, who is now scottishathletics national events chief, is in discussion with all the relevant authorities and hopes to make progress with the plans over the next few weeks.
He said: “We are currently looking at a venue in Inverness for an inter-district cross-country event towards the end of January.
“It’s very much at the planning stage at the moment and we are trying to sort out a suitable course.
“If it comes to fruition, there will probably be representative teams from the various districts, but the selection process for that has still to be determined.
“We are also looking into the possibility of a national masters cross-country meeting going ahead in Aberdeen in early February. It’s early days, but it’s certainly on the agenda.”
Love is pleased that after months of hard work scottishathletics will be able to hold a cross-country meeting at Scone Palace next weekend. Elite-only races for men and women will be held along with age group events.
But it has been a marathon test for Love and his colleagues to get to this stage.
He said: “It started back in October when we hoped to hold a national relay event at Cumbernauld House.
“That idea had to be abandoned and we decided to focus on having a national short course event.
“We had extensive discussions with authorities in North Lanarkshire, East Lothian and North Ayrshire about venues in each of these areas, but – despite everyone’s best efforts on their part – none of these were unable to proceed.
“I also looked at Aberdeen’s Balgownie playing fields as a possible venue, but Aberdeen University said they weren’t taking bookings for any of their facilities in December.
“Eventually we were able to get it off the ground at Scone Palace thanks to the landowners and Perth and Kinross Council.
“We also hope to have the national cross-country at Falkirk next year in some format, depending on the circumstances at the time.
“I really feel for our volunteer officials, who have often made arrangements to attend events only to be told that they have been cancelled. We owe them a big thank you.”
Love is relieved progress is being made with cross- country races and he remains equally committed to delivering some indoor track and field meetings in the new year.
He said: “We won’t be able to hold any national championship-scale events, but our aim is to put on some smaller open meetings.
“We have documentation with sportscotland at the moment outlining our plans, showing how we would conduct these events safely.
“Bookings have been made with the Emirates Arena. But much depends on the regulations in place at the time.”