COVID-19

Speed Skating Canada Updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Last Updated: November 20, 2020

 

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to evolve in Canada, we are all 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. This page outlines the operational decisions we have made to help minimize the effects of COVID-19 on our athletes, staff, volunteers and membership. We will continue to add updates 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. 

Latest News

COVID-19 Research

Resources & Links

Speed Skating Canada has developed the following resources to assist athletes, event organizers and our speed skating community as they navigate through the pandemic.

We have also hosted Return to Sport Town Hall webinars to provide our membership with updates and resources. Recordings of these webinars are available for viewing online: Town Hall 1, Town Hall 2, Town Hall 3, Town Hall 4.

The following resources have been developed by our sport partners.

For more information about the COVID-19 pandemic and associated health guidelines or restrictions, please refer to the following websites.

Events

Domestic

  • At the onset of the pandemic, on March 12, SSC made the decision to cancel all remaining domestic events of the 2019-20 season.
  • A Competition Contingency Planning Framework was developed by SSC sport development, high performance and event staff to outline the various factors that will be considered when taking decisions regarding the 2020-21 domestic competition calendar. The document also provides an indication of different scenarios that may materialize for the season.
    • Based on the factors outlined in this Framework, SSC made the decision to cancel or postpone events held in Block 1 of the calendar on September 22. This resulted in the postponement of the Canadian Short Track Championships and Canadian Long Track Championships, and the cancellation of Short Track Canada Cup 1.
    • A decision regarding events in Block 2 of the calendar (December and January) will be made by November 1, in accordance with the factors outlined in the Framework.
  • For all events that do proceed with an SSC sanction in the 2020-21 season, a set of Competition Guidelines must be put in place by event organizers to create conditions for competitions that are representative of our sport and are not unduly hazardous for participants. PTSOs and local clubs are also encouraged to consider these Guidelines when organizing their own competitions.

International

  • SSC was scheduled to host three World Cups in Canada during November and December 2020. Due to safety concerns, the ISU concluded that these events could not be held as planned and announced their cancellation on August 31.
  • On September 30, the ISU announced the cancellation or postponement of all remaining international events until the end of the 2020 calendar year.
  • Given the Olympic Oval closure and current COVID-19 travel restrictions imposed by the federal government, SSC will be unable to host the ISU Four Continents Championships in January as planned. 
  • We continue to work alongside the ISU and our international colleagues to explore options for safe, world-class competition in 2021.

High Performance

  • 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. 
  • 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. 

Short Track

  • In accordance with provincial guidelines, the Maurice-Richard Arena was temporarily closed on October 8, until October 28 at the earliest.
    • The Government of Quebec announce on October 23 that national and development team athletes can return to on-ice group training as of October 30. Athletes with the CRCE will only be able to train on the ice one-on-one. 
  • The INS Quebec remains open under exceptional permission from health authorities. National Team and Development Team athletes will continue to use the indoor training facilities in accordance with their training plans and safety measures in place at the facility.
  • Coaches are working on modified training plans, including dryland, cycling, etc., for athletes during this period.
  • Adapted criteria for team selection and carding as a result of cancelled events is available on the Short Track page of our website.

Long Track

Operations

Effective March 13, all SSC offices were temporarily closed. All staff members continue to work remotely.  

  • Staff remain accessible via email during this time 
  • All meetings are taking 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

On March 24, SSC made the decision to proactively cancel our in-person AGM and Congress scheduled for June 2020 in Ottawa. A virtual Annual General Meeting was held on June 27.

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.

Additional contributions were also made available by Sport Canada to National Sport Organizations as part of the federal government’s Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations.

Advice to Members

  • We applaud our PTSOs and local clubs for taking measures to adapt training plans given current COVID-19 restrictions and as directed by their local health authorities.
  • We encourage PTSOs to adopt work from home policies where possible and to move all upcoming in-person meetings to virtual meetings.
  • 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.