March 18, 2020 – (Ottawa, ON) – Canoe Kayak Canada (CKC) continues to monitor the evolving COVID-19 health pandemic and wishes to provide the Canadian paddling community with an update regarding its response plan. The health and safety of all our community members remains of the utmost importance.
Please note that this update is being provided based on the recommendations of CKC’s leadership task force, which is composed of senior staff, medical and legal experts and representative board members. The task force has been meeting regularly to monitor and adjust CKC’s organizational response to the pandemic.
As the scope and longer term reality of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to evolve, our immediate concerns for health of all participants is joined by a concern for the financial viability of our Clubs, Provincial and Territorial Organizations and the hundreds of Canadians who are employed through our sport.
This morning, the Federal Government announced significant financial support measures, which along with Provincial measures could provide relief to our community. We will work with our own team here at CKC and with our key partners in Government and the sport sector to provide guidance on what financial support and programs are being made available and any way we can assist in this support reaching those in our community who could be in need.
CKC continues to strongly recommend that all member organizations and individuals adopt strict social distancing measures. Critically, all individuals who are returning from international travel (including the United States) should observe a strict 14-day self-isolation protocol and be very conscious about the people they come into contact with, especially those who may be at high risk, such as elderly persons or those whose current health situation would put them at risk.
In line with the recommendations immediately above, CKC strongly urges that all member clubs and organizations suspend all in-person activities and instead work to support athletes and other members to continue safe activity in accordance with social-distancing protocols. We have begun working with members and our partners as we look to the weeks and months ahead to form a potential recommendation on paddling activity which respects social distancing requirements and takes safety into account.
Graham Barton CKC Chief Technical Officer has provided an update on training approaches in this difficult time here.
This morning, the International Canoe Federation (ICF) released its latest update on event cancelations and adjustments to Olympic and Paralympic Qualification. This release is available here. To summarize key ICF updates which relate to CKC Olympic and Paralympic preparation:
- All ICF competitions and international competitions until Sunday May 31 are postponed or cancelled.
- The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has expressed full confidence that the Olympics will proceed on time, and the ICF is working hard to ensure it is able to fill all available quota positions in the fairest and most appropriate manner.
- The Continental Olympic Qualifiers scheduled for Brazil in both Slalom and Sprint have been cancelled.
- The Pan American Canoe Championships have been postponed to a date to be determined this Fall.
- According to the canoe slalom Olympic qualification system, the ICF canoe slalom World Ranking will be used to determine the remaining Continental Athlete Quota places.
- Olympic training periods on the Tokyo Canoe Slalom venue in March and April are cancelled.
- The ICF is currently in discussion with the International Olympic Committee on using international results to determine which countries are allocated the remaining Sprint Tokyo 2020 quotas. This decision will be taken by early April.
- World Cup, Olympic qualifier, Paracanoe World Championships and Paralympic qualifiers schedule for Duisburg will be postponed or cancelled with the final decision being taken in late April.
- If Duisburg is unable to proceed, the results from the 2019 ICF Paracanoe World Championships will be used to determine final Paralympic quota allocations. There will be further discussions with the International Paralympic Committee.
- Full Details of ICF events that are cancelled, postponed or still scheduled are available in the detailed release.
All CKC in-person events are suspended indefinitely, and we will continue to monitor this position based on all information that we receive and updated our membership as this situation evolves. This includes the CKC-Sprint Racing Discipline (CKC-SRD) Olympic and Paralympic Team Trials scheduled for April 16-19, 2020 in Gainesville, Georgia.
Furthermore, CKC has decided to suspend the 2020 Valleyfield Canoe Slalom Team Trials (planned for May 9-10, 2020) until further notice in order to protect the health and safety of all athletes, coaches, officials and spectators. More information on CKC on selection procedures will be communicated once the ICF provides further information on Olympic Quota Allocation and the 2020 competition schedule.
As is clear to all of our members, this is a serious and fast moving situation, but please know we are in this together and are here to help if you have questions and concerns.
About Canoe Kayak Canada
Canoe Kayak Canada (CKC) is the national governing body for competitive paddling in Canada, one of Canada’s top performing summer sports with a total of 24 Olympic medals, and a leader in the Paralympic movement. Canoe Kayak Canada is a member-based organization that includes an intricate network of clubs as well as provincial, territorial and divisional paddling associations. Elite National Team athletes proudly represent Canada at various competitions around the globe – most notably the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, Pan American Games, ICF World Cups as well as Junior, Under 23 and Senior World Championships. Follow Canoe Kayak Canada on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.