COVID-19

Speed Skating Canada Updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

 

Last updated: June 22

 

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak rapidly evolves in Canada, we are all now facing significant and unique challenges. These are exceptionally difficult times and Speed Skating Canada’s number one priority is the health and well-being of our speed skating community and of the greater communities in which we operate. 

Since the start of the outbreak, SSC has reacted proactively and appropriately while following the most current advice of public health authorities, as well as Canadian sport system partners. To date, we have made several operational decisions to help minimize the effects of COVID-19 on our athletes and staffSSC will continue to update our membership and the greater speed skating community as more information becomes available and decisions are made accordingly.  

We would like to thank you for your patience and cooperation as we endeavour to provide the best possible level of service during this time. 

Documentation

AGM and Congress

Effective March 24, SSC has made the decision to proactively cancel the in-person AGM and Congress scheduled for June 2020 in Ottawa.

  • Given the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak, which may persist for a number of weeks or months, we do not feel that it would be prudent to put the health of our members – or the financial position of SSC – at risk by moving forward with the commitments necessary to meet in person. 
  • We have begun making plans to conduct our Annual General Meeting electronically, as permitted by our Bylaws. We are also exploring the possibility of hosting conference sessions later in the year to replace our Congress.
  • According to our bylaws and the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, SSC has until September 19, 2020 to hold its AGM. We will communicate a date for the virtual meeting once it is selected.

High Performance

  • As indicated by the respective provincial health authorities, arenas in Alberta were given the green light to re-open on June 12, while those in Montreal will be permitted to open as of Monday, June 22. However, as of today, the Maurice-Richard Arena, the Olympic Oval and WinSport remain closed and no estimated dates of re-opening are currently available. 
  • These facilities will only open when it is possible to do so safely. There are many layers of approval required and health protocols must be coordinated between each facility and its users. The High Performance programs are working to customize protocols for indoor and on-ice training, which must be in place before beginning such activities.  
  • The INS Quebec is already open for limited indoor training, whereas CSI Calgary has announced that it will open its doors to high performance athletes on July 6.
  • Until we have access to ice, we will continue to train outdoors as per our existing protocols. Everyone is reminded to follow the standard COVID-19 best practices, as outlined in the Best Practices document.
  • SSC has requested that all High Performance athletes and staff practice rigorous social distancing and self-monitoring, regardless of whether they have travelled or are presenting any symptoms, to enhance our role in flattening the curve. 
  • Coaches are currently working on adapted personalized training plans for their athletes, which include at-home and/or outdoor activities, to be put into place once training resumes. We are taking a 30-day approach to planning, and expect all training for the coming month to occur individually or with roommates.
  • During this time, athletes have access to virtual consultations with medical and sport science staff members. 
  • Our High Performance programs will continue to follow the guidance and advice of the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network (CSI Calgary, INS Quebec), the Sport Medicine Advisory Committee, and our provincial Health Services bodies in dealing with this evolving matter. 
  • High Performance staff have adapted team selection criteria for the 2020-2021 season, based on the cancellation of the Short Track World Championships and domestic ranking events. Information is available on the Short Track and Long Track pages of our website.

Operations

Effective March 13all SSC offices have been temporarily closed and all staff members are working remotely.  

  • Staff will remain accessible via email during this time 
  • All meetings will take place using virtual meeting tools 
  • All non-essential work travel has been cancelled 
  • Please expect delayed processing times for all items sent via mail or courier

Events

Effective March 12, SSC made the decision to cancel all remaining domestic events of the 2019-20 season, which includes the following competitions: 

  • Short Track Canada Cup Final (March 13-15) 
  • Long Track Canada Cup 4 (March 19-22) 
  • Short Track Canada Cup Junior Final (March 20-22) 
  • Canadian Youth Short Track Championships - East (March 28-29) 
  • Canadian Youth Short Track Championships - West (March 28-29) 

SSC will explore opportunities to host a Short Track Talent Development Camp at a future date and location, to be determined once training venues re-open and physical distancing measures are lifted. Invitations will be based in part on preliminary entry lists from the 2020 Canadian Youth Championships. More information will be communicated when available.

Finances

Sport Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee have confirmed that funding for athlete carding will not be interrupted. SSC's Above Reference and Enhanced Excellence funding will also remain at a minimum of the same level as the previous season.

Advice to Members

  • We applaud our PTSOs and local clubs for taking measures to postpone or cancel events and training sessions, as directed by their local health authorities. No organized activities should take place until further notice.  
  • We encourage PTSOs to adopt work from home policies where possible and to move all upcoming in-person meetings to virtual meetings. As of April 7, SSC has made the decision to cancel all in-person meetings and non-essential travel until the original dates for our AGM (June 18-20) at the earliest, and we encourage all members to do the same.
  • PTSOs and member organizations are encouraged to conduct their Annual General Meetings online, using available web meeting (e.g., Zoom, Webex) and online voting (e.g., Simply Voting) platforms. Additional guidance in this regard is available via the Sport Law & Strategy Group
  • The Government of Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan may offer support to members in their continued business operations.
  • The COC's Workforce Planning Guide is a helpful resource to guide decision-making related to HR during this crisis.

Links