UKSA announces plans for GB Team return to ‘in person’ competing in 2022

2018 Virtus Summer Games – British double gold medallist, Kiera Byland (centre)

The UK Sports Association Board is committed to seeing athletes from the UK return to ‘in person’ competing at Virtus Championships as soon as possible.

The first event for 2022 that UKSA will plan an entry for the GB Team will be the 2022 Virtus European Summer Games.  These are scheduled for 16-24 July in Krakow, Poland.  This is a multi-sport event.

Although restrictions in the UK are lifting, there remains a different approach in many countries across the world.  The wellbeing and safety of any GB Team is of paramount importance so a staged approach to return to events will begin to be considered.

UKSA will be working with its Sport and Selection Committees and relevant organisations in the UK to enable a team in athletics, swimming, cycling, and tennis.  Consideration of an entry in Judo (demonstration only) will also be undertaken.

The viability and feasibility of each sports team will be assessed by UKSA on an on-going basis between now and the event closing date.  UKSA reserve the right to withdraw or change plans regarding any sport or team entry depending on its ongoing assessment of the team and changing circumstances.

This may include, but is not restricted to considerations around the changing COVID-19 pandemic, funding, athlete performances, stakeholder commitment, staff availability, economic or overall team viability. Any decision on Tennis or Judo will be subject to the same considerations by UKSA and will be made taking into consideration discussions with the relevant NGB.

Summer Games Standards and Selection
Athletes and GB Teams will be selected on the basis of British performance standards targeting realistic performance levels, progression and medal potential at the Championships.

UKSA will set standards in athletics, swimming and cycling. Selection policies and standards for these sports will be published as soon as possible. Selection closing dates have yet to be confirmed but are likely to be by end March 2022. Staff appointments will be by invitation only from UKSA.

UKSA is in discussion with both the LTA and British Judo about the potential of a GB entry in these sports. Further information will be available as soon as possible.

Athletes do not ‘apply’ to be considered for any sport. Sports Selection Committees will consider athletes in line with selection policies and criteria. The Committee will decide which athletes in which sports will be invited.

2022 Summer Games Competition Information

Class II1 will be included in all sports.

Class II2 will be offered in some sports.  It is confirmed that there will be events in swimming and athletics, but in a limited number of events.  There is no detail on what events are being offered yet. There are no events in cycling.  II2 inclusion in tennis and judo has still to be confirmed.

UKSA is awaiting confirmation from the Polish Local Organising Committee and will provide further guidance later.

Class II3: Further information on class II3 is required.  Once any information available has been considered, UKSA will advise on whether class II3 may be considered for the Team to the 2022 Championships.

Eligibility and Classification
All British athletes, across all sports and all classes will be expected to have full Virtus International Eligibility/Classification and be listed as ‘active’ on the Virtus Master list.  This will need to be in place by the UKSA and/or the relevant NGB (tennis or judo) selection closing date in order to be considered.

If there are any variations to these rules, for example in a demonstration event, then UKSA will publish guidance.

Eligibility and classification is not an administrative process and takes time to complete. Please check timelines on the UKSA website.

Costs – Virtus 2022 European Summer Games
Full costs for the event are not yet known.

Athletics, Swimming, Cycling: As a guide only it is estimated that costs may be in the region of £1,800 per athlete. This is an estimate only and will change. Further guidance on costs will be given as soon as possible.  We expect this to be in March.  UKSA will endeavour to provide minimum and maximum costs where possible.

Athletes selected will be expected to pay 50% of costs at point of invitation/selection, whichever is earlier. Selection is expected to be completed by April 2022.

Once a decision is made on the entry to the 2022 Virtus European Summer Games, the Lawn Tennis Association and British Judo (if relevant) will decide how costs will be managed in their sport.  They will also advise what the costs will be for athletes.  More information will follow.

Full costs across all sports and all athletes will be expected to be paid to UKSA by mid June 2022 at the latest.

COVID-19 & Return to Competition

The rules and regulations across the UK and overseas are constantly changing.  Regulations to enter Poland today, may be different to those required by competition time.

UKSA is developing its own COVID-19 protocols and how the GB Team across all sports will be managed.  These will be announced later this year.

All athletes, staff, escorts and NGB’s involved in the team to the Championships will be expected to work within and uphold these protocols. This will form part of the conditions of selection and invitation to the GB Team in all sports.

Communication
Communication from UKSA to athletes prior to selection will be through the UKSA website and social media.

There is no need for athletes from any sport to register interest directly with the Polish Local Organising Committee or Virtus. UKSA will manage all communication to the Organisers about British athletes and the British entry in all sports with Virtus.

All enquiries about the Virtus Summer Games, questions from athletes in the UK or about the British Team entry should be sent to the UK Sports Association.

UKSA can be contacted through your normal UKSA contact or as follows

Email:  info@uksportsassociation.org  or uksasportgb@gmail.com

UKSA office Telephone: 0203 633 6460

Please do not contact the Organisers or Virtus directly.

All entries for the GB Team in all sports to the 2022 Virtus European Summer Games will be made via the UK Sports Association.

Please continue to watch our website and follow us on social media for updates.

The Tennis competition at the Championships has been endorsed by the International Tennis Federation (ITF)

The 2022 Summer Games is supported and sanctioned by:

IMPORTANT UPDATE 15 JUNE 2022 – Read the update regarding the Virtus Summer Games (Regional Games)