Elite athletes elect to keep training during parliamentary count

Issued by High Life Highland

Positive discussions between The Highland Council, High Life Highland and Inverness Harriers have enabled a small group of elite athletes from the Highland club to continue training while Queen Park Athletics Stadium becomes part of the Scottish Parliament Election count, taking place at the sports centre in Inverness Leisure.

Speaking on behalf of The Highland Council and High Life Highland, Election Manager, Linda Johnstone said, “For many years, Inverness Leisure has been used for election counts with minimum disruption to customers and members. Obviously for the count following the Scottish Parliamentary election on 6th May, things are extraordinarily different from previous years.

“Other venues were considered, but due to the COVID-safe and increased security requirements needed for this election count, Inverness Leisure was the only venue able to accommodate those needs.

“Therefore, in line with the necessary guidance, we have been working to create an environment that will keep all those involved safe and secure during the counting process. As a result of those measures, and having utilised the available space internally, we had no option but to make arrangements to have a number of marquees erected on Queens Park, putting the athletics stadium temporarily out of action whilst the count takes place.”

Douglas Wilby, Director of Sport and Leisure added, “We have been in ongoing communication with the Inverness Harriers and we are pleased that we have come to a position that will allow the club’s elite athletes the opportunity to continue their training during this time.”

Duncan Flockhart, President of the Inverness Harriers commented, “Whilst the Club obviously understands the important role that Inverness Leisure is playing the forthcoming election process, everyone at the club was extremely disappointed that, as a result, our members would be unable to train at the facility, having training schedules interrupted, impacting greatly on our athletes trying to achieve, times, distances and standards for domestic, national and European events. However, I am pleased that in discussion with The Highland Council and High Life Highland, the Club has been offered access to alternative facilities that will allow some of these athletes to continue with their training programmes during the count period.

“I am further reassured that the use of the alternative location has come at no cost to the Club and I have been given a further guarantee that the Club will return to Queens Park as soon as is reasonably possible.”

27 Apr 2021