VALE Royal Athletics Club have confirmed all of their training sessions have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, though coaches may work with their runners remotely.

Club chiefs issued a statement to members yesterday when it was ruled that Knights Grange and other named training facilities in Winsford should not be used until further notice.

The statement reads: "Following the updated regulations issued by the Government yesterday (Friday), notably the closure of all Leisure Facilities, together with schools and universities also ceasing lessons, it is necessary to revise the rules around training for all athletes as follows.

"All club training sessions across all locations are cancelled with immediate effect. These include Knights Grange, Delamere Forest, Hartford and indoor sites. No coaches will be attending these locations in an official capacity from today.

"Knights Grange should not be used. Although a number of club members have keys they should not use them to access the site to train. Doing so would potentially damage our relationship with the council, possibly leading to us losing our right to use the track in future. It could also invalidate the club’s insurance policy as we are obliged to comply with EA and Local Authority regulations."

There is an understanding that athletes will want to continue to keep themselves in shape for when the pandemic ceases.

The statement continues: "Athletes are actively encouraged to keep themselves fit however those who wish to continue training must do so in accordance with EA guidelines regarding social distancing etc.

"Note that coaches are absolutely permitted to issue guidance and advice remotely (via e-mail, telephone and social media etc) regarding sessions that can be performed and may well reach out to you as individuals or as a group in that regard."

A stark warning is issued within the statement too.

The statement reads: "Please adhere to the above – failure to do so may put you or others at risk as well as damaging the reputation of you personally and the club.

"The above has been agreed by all coaches and committee members."