Athletics Southland – Safety FirstSafety is everyone’s concern...

and all who participate in athletics, whether competitor, official, organizer, coach, teacher or parent, must be safety conscious. All involved in athletics meetings and training sessions, whether at Surrey Park or other venues, should be familiar with the Athletics Southland safety policy and safety guidelines.

Outside of organised meets, athletics is an individual sport with athletes often training by themselves or in small groups. This puts the emphasis on individuals to look after themselves and each other when training. So individuals must also be aware of the safety issues.Remember too, Surrey Park and most athletic grounds, including school grounds, are used by the general public for recreation and training. Athletes and groups training MUST be aware of others in the area, particularly children, who may not appreciate the potential dangers.

The Safety First Check List - Click Here for PDF copy

The safety requirements here cover both Surrey Park and outside venues and should also be observed by schools using their own grounds.


  • At competitive meetings access must be available for emergency vehicles. Ensure gates are not blocked by vehicles.
  • First aid kits are in the Invercargill and St Paul’s club rooms.  One or both must be accessible at Athletics Southland Surrey Park competitions.  If schools or other organisation have not arranged access to one of the club-rooms they must bring a first aid kit with them.
  • Competitors are not to be inside the track during competitions unless competing.
  • Spectators and parents must stay out of the competition area (i.e. the fence at Surrey Park or outside the track at other venues)
  • Athletes must not wear spikes outside the competition area - spikes should be taken off immediately after the event.
  • Surrey Park is a smoke free area. This applies to everyone within the grounds and inside the two clubrooms.
  • Coaches must make their athletes aware of the safety requirements for training and competition.
  • In event of injury resulting in possible fracture or any injury resulting in loss of consciousness, the victim must not be moved until medical attention has been given by an authorised or qualified person.


  • In all throws athletes not throwing must be well behind the throwing circle, and where there is a cage, always outside it.
  • At Surrey Park discus and hammer training must take place only in the net / caged areas.
  • Discus, hammer and javelin officials and competitors must never be in or close to the sector with their back turned to the throwing area. This applies to both competition and training.
  • In training, discus and hammer throwers (who commence their throw with their back to the landing field) must make a final check of the sector area immediately before starting their attempt as well as checking prior to entering the throwing cage.
  • In competition officials should warn (whistle, air horn, loud yell) when a throw is about to take place – it’s too easy for a spotter or official to be distracted momentarily and not realise a discus, javelin or shot is heading in their direction.
  • Throwing implements must be carried back, not thrown or rolled.
  • The Athletics Southland red warning signs must be used when throwing competitions are in progress.
  • For competitions at venues other than Surrey Park there should be a roped off or marked area that waiting athletes must stay behind until called for their attempt.
  • No one, athlete or official, should be in the throwing safety cage while an attempt is being made.
  • Competitors must stay outside the safety cage and throwing circle until their name is called.


  • In the high jump the biggest danger is missing the pad or hitting the upright. Many young high jumpers aim for the centre of the bar but momentum means they clear it close to the far end risking hitting the upright or hitting the ground. If this occurs officials need to encourage jumpers to aim for the first third of the bar, thereby clearing it in the centre.
  • No jumper is to make an attempt before he or she is called. It is not uncommon for an athlete to pre-empt the official and make a jump when the previous jumper is still on the mat.
  • High jump landing mats must be adequate for flop landings. If not, the flop should not be permitted.
  • The flop done correctly is efficient, effective and safe. Done incorrectly it can be dangerous for young athletes who risk hitting the upright with their head or landing on the ground head or back first. Unless an athlete has been correctly taught the flop technique it should be discouraged or not allowed.
  • Landing mats must not be on a slippery surface.
  • Long and triple jump pits must be checked for glass and dangerous objects before competition or training. This should be done during digging and raking. Do not dig the pit without watching out for what might be in the sand.
  • Rakes must never be left lying on the ground with prongs facing up. If possible lean rakes and shovels in an upright position against the fence when not in use and must be held during competition.


  • Athletes and officials must always look before crossing the track.
  • Athletes training must check the lane they are about to use is free before starting a repetition. If running reps warn others which lane is being used.
  • Hurdles must never be jumped from the wrong side as a stumble or trip means the hurdle will not tip and serious injury could result.


  • All athletic equipment should be checked before use.
  • Any equipment which is damaged or unsafe must be reported to the Athletics Southland Equipment Officer or Chairperson of the appropriate subcommittee.  (Track & Field, Harriers or Juniors)


  • Cross-country courses must be checked for dangerous objects (i.e. any hidden large stones and rocks, glass, metal) before the first race.
  • Organizers for road courses must be mindful of traffic and where applicable, follow a suitable traffic management plan.
  • First aid kit must be taken to Athletics Southland non-stadia events.


  • The warm up and stretches are a safety procedure. A proper warm up could avoid an injury. Coaches and organizers should allow time for adequate warm up.
  • Organizers and coaches should encourage athletes to be sun smart and apply sunscreen.
  • Sensible fluid replacement must be promoted to athletes by coaches and organizers.
  • There will be no sharing of water bottle under any circumstances.
  • Coaches and organizers must be informed of health and medical conditions that may impact on an athlete’s participation. This includes conditions such as asthma and epilepsy as well as injuries. (Young athletes may try and play through an injury and risk aggravating it further.) If treatment may be required (e.g. asthma or epilepsy) the coach or official should be aware of correct treatment.