Cross-country amalgamation is a non-runner
AMALGAMATING the two major domestic cross-country championships - the inter-clubs and the inter-counties - is off the agenda, based on the feedback Athletics Ireland received from a recent review.
The GloHealth Inter-Club Championships take place in Kilbroney Park, Rostrevor (Co Down) on Sunday, a full three and a half months after the inter-counties. The whole area of cross-country provided so many motions at Congress last year that they were deferred to a major review of the discipline.
That took place on February 14 and the possibility of amalgamating the two competitions - to produce a more streamlined season that would be better suited to feeding international competitions and the growing national indoor scene - was mooted.
However, competitions chairperson Georgina Drumm has confirmed there was no major support for an amalgamation and she said there was particularly strong support to retain the inter-clubs.
"It was felt that inter-clubs is an event with great history and significance and that we should retain it and look at how we can improve it in future," she said.
Drumm said that while there was consensus on retaining two separate competitions, there was a feeling that their scheduling may have to be changed and condensing the season, possibly by starting and finishing it earlier, is being discussed.
A series of motions will be put together for the AAI AGM in April and clubs will be given them well in advance for discussion.
Raheny's Mick Clohisey, who was third in inter-counties, will be defending his inter-club title on Sunday, as will Clonliffe's Sarah McCormack and the junior inter-county champions - Ennis' Kevin Mulcaire and Clonliffe's Hope Saunders - are chasing doubles.