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Coronavirus Kent: How the Coronavirus outbreak has decimated the 2020 sporting calendar

ATHLETICS

The Home Country Athletics Federations (HCAFs), in co-operation with UK Athletics, have suspended all planned in person and face to face organised athletics activity until the end of April.

The suspension includes all organised athletics activity within the UK, including competitions and leagues, member clubs, running groups and races.

Clubs and groups have been advised not to take part in training, competitive or other related activities during this period.

Race walker Tom Bosworth is among a number of Kent athletes who are hoping to compete at the Olympics this year Picture: Stephen Pond/British Athletics
Race walker Tom Bosworth is among a number of Kent athletes who are hoping to compete at the Olympics this year Picture: Stephen Pond/British Athletics

All parkruns countrywide have been cancelled while the London Marathon, scheduled for next month, has been put back to October.

The 2020 Olympics were due to run in Tokyo from July 24 to August 9 but on Tuesday the International Olympic Committee revealed that the event would be put back a year.

The news followed announcements that Australia and Canada would not be sending teams to Japan out of health concerns for their athletes.

The chairman of the British Olympic Association Hugh Robertson had said Great Britain would be unlikely to send a team while World Athletics president Lord Coe was among those who had called for a postponement.

BOXING

The boxing calendar has been thrown into disarray with a growing number of fights scheduled or postponed over the coming months.

With the government advising against mass gatherings and with emergency workers no longer able to support events due to the COVID-19 outbreak, boxing has been effectively put on hold until May at the earliest.

The British Boxing Board of Control last week made the decision to postpone all public boxing events under its jurisdiction – a decision the sport's governing body will review in April.

Strood boxer Louis Greene
Strood boxer Louis Greene

Gravesend heavyweight Cheavon Clarke was due to take part in the Road to Tokyo European Olympic trials which began behind closed doors at The Copperbox earlier this month only for the Boxing Task Force to then suspend the event after three days in the light of Government advice.

The subsequent Americas and final world qualifiers, scheduled to take place in May, have also been suspended.

Kent fighter Louis Greene is another who must bide his time before returning to the ring.

The Strood boxer was due to meet Michael McKinson on April 18 to contest the WBO welterweight title but the bout has been postponed.

CRICKET

The domestic county cricket season will not start until the end of May at the earliest.

The ECB announced that the 2020 season – due to start with the championship on April 12 – is being postponed until May 28.

Work has started on revised schedules to begin in June, July or August, with the new schedule prioritising on playing as much international and domestic cricket as possible.

The ECB are not ruling out beginning the season behind closed doors.

It could be a while before the Spitfire Ground St Lawrence Ground is as packed as this
It could be a while before the Spitfire Ground St Lawrence Ground is as packed as this

England are not scheduled to play until June 4, when they start a three-Test series against West Indies.

The men's inaugural Hundred competition is due to run from July 17 to August 15. Dates for the women's competition are July 22-August 14.

All forms of recreational cricket have been suspended. This extends to training, pre-season friendlies and any associated cricket activity.

The ECB says that one of its goals in the coming weeks will be to explore ways that they can support some levels of physical activity in communities – particularly at junior levels.

However, it added: "It will be critical that any decisions we do make are medically-led. And we will continue to work with Government and their advisors to ensure we are informed by science in our decision making.

“Over the coming weeks we will work with the game to understand what support is required across the cricket community, particularly local clubs and leagues."

England's tour of Sri Lanka was cut short as was Kent's pre-season trip to South Africa.

FOOTBALL

All professional football in England has been postponed until at least April 30 and the cut-off date for the campaign to be completed has been pushed back "indefinitely".

Under current rules the season had been scheduled to end on June 1.

Euro 2020 has been put back a year while the European Under-21 Championship will be delayed to 2022.

Hythe Town's Reachfields ground – one of the many across the county that have been standing idle due to the Coronavirus Picture: Andy Jones
Hythe Town's Reachfields ground – one of the many across the county that have been standing idle due to the Coronavirus Picture: Andy Jones

The finals of the Champions League and Europa League have also been deferred.

England's National League have suspended games until April 3, while the Isthmian and Southern Counties East leagues have come out in support of plans to end the season without playing the remaining fixtures.

Some local competitions, such as the Ashford and District Sunday League, have already taken the step to end their season saying no games will be played until September.

GOLF

The R&A have cancelled two international amateur events, the R&A Student Tour Series Final at St Andrews and Carnoustie, and The R&A Girls’ U16 Amateur Championship at Fulford, but have said they will keep the rest of the amateur championship season under review.

They say they will be undertaking "a comprehensive evaluation” of their plans to stage The 149th Open at Royal St George’s (July 16-19) and the AIG Women’s British Open at Royal Troon (August 20-23).

Their statement said: "This includes examining a range of scenarios for staging the championships, with our focus on proceeding as planned, as well as considering other contingency options available to us."

Locally many courses remained open until the Prime Minster's announcement on Monday evening, after which Golf England ordered all courses and clubs to close.

Darren Clarke celebrates winning The Open on the last occasion the event was hosted by Royal St George's, in 2011. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Darren Clarke celebrates winning The Open on the last occasion the event was hosted by Royal St George's, in 2011. Picture: Barry Goodwin

GYMNASTICS

British Gymnastics have cancelled all national events until the end of June.

Among the competitions that won't take place are the FIG World Cup in Birmingham on March 28, and the British Artistic Championships in Liverpool from April 16-19.

Kent's Courtney Tulloch was among gymnasts hoping to contest the finals of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) Apparatus World Cup in Azerbaijan this week but the event, in Baku, was cancelled halfway through after qualification had taken place.

It is not yet been decided whether the FIG will use qualification standings as the basis for results from the event, part of the qualification process for this year's Olympic Games in Tokyo.

HOCKEY

England Hockey have suspended all their nationally run hockey activity until at least April 15.

This includes the EH competition and domestic events programme, Player Pathway activity and national youth programmes.

Great Britain's FIH Hockey Pro League games against China/India at Lee Valley on May 2-3, and Argentina at the Twickenham Stoop on May 16-17 have also been postponed.

Hockey across England has been halted until at least the middle of April Picture: Alan Langley
Hockey across England has been halted until at least the middle of April Picture: Alan Langley

A decision about the remaining home fixtures against USA and Spain on May 23-24 and Germany on June 13-14 will be made no later than April 15.

An EH statement added: "We will continue to monitor the situation carefully and react as best we can during these unprecedented times.

"We'll keep everyone in the hockey family as up to date as possible and look forward to hockey returning to normal when the time is right."

MOTORSPORT

The opening round of the Motorsport UK British Rallycross Championship 5 Nations Trophy (5 Nations BRX), scheduled to take place at Lydden Hill on April 12-13, has been postponed.

Motorsport UK have suspended all organising permits and Certificates of Exemption until at least April 30 although say the position will be constantly reviewed

The Lydden Hill opening round has been rescheduled for November 7-8.

Past action from the FIA World Rallycross round at Lydden Picture: Matt Bristow
Past action from the FIA World Rallycross round at Lydden Picture: Matt Bristow

Organisers of Formula 1 have said the 2020 season will begin "as soon as it is safe to do so after May" with the first eight races all being postponed.

The Azerbaijan Grand Prix, due to be raced on June 7, became the latest casualty on Monday and the Canadian Grand Prix on June 14 also appears to be in doubt after that country pulled out of the Tokyo Olympics.

The sport has shifted its "summer break" forward to March and April to free up time to fit as many races into this year as possible once the season can resume.

A year has to have a minimum of eight Grands Prix to count as a world championship.

The start of the British Superbike Championship at Silverstone has also been postponed.

RUGBY

The rugby season has come to a premature end for all but the clubs who play in the Gallagher Premiership.

The move, which applies to "all league, cup and county rugby in England" means most leagues will finish with around half-a-dozen rounds to play.

The RFU said a further update would be issued in April as they aim to "ensure fair and balanced outcomes."

Canterbury Rugby Club last played in National League 1 on March 7. Picture: Phillipa Hilton
Canterbury Rugby Club last played in National League 1 on March 7. Picture: Phillipa Hilton

SPEEDWAY

British Speedway’s new season has been suspended with the suspension due to be reviewed on April 15.

The situation will be monitored by the British Speedway Promoters’ Association and Speedway Control Bureau on a daily basis between now and then

TENNIS

Professional tennis has been put on hold until 7 June, ruling out the entire clay-court season.

The extension covers joint tournaments in Madrid and Rome, plus women's events in Strasbourg and Rabat and men's events in Munich, Estoril, Geneva and Lyon.

The French Open, due to take place from May 24-June 7, will instead will take place between September 20 and October 4 – just a week after the US Open concludes.

All men's and women's rankings have been frozen until further notice.

This year's Wimbledon championships are scheduled to run from Monday, June 29 to Sunday, July 12.

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent


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