Response Plan: COVID-19

Posted By: Canoe Kayak Canada

MARCH 12, 2020 – OTTAWA, ON — Canoe Kayak Canada (CKC) continues to monitor the rapidly changing landscape related to COVID-19 and its potential impact on the well-being of our athletes and coaches. To date, much of our information has come from the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC), and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), as well as the International Canoe Federation (ICF), all of whom are following the World Health Organization lead on appropriate actions and precautionary measures.

CKC’s number one priority is the health and well-being of our members, including athletes, coaches, IST support, officials, staff and other volunteers and support personnel.

CKC has formed a specific leadership task force of Senior Staff, medical experts, legal counsel and representative board members to meet daily to assess the situation and adjust our measures as needed.

Specific to our National Teams and Development Programs, our CKC technical and coaching staff will continue to evaluate and adjust plans following guidance from this task force to ensure our paddlers are provided with the safest training and competition environment in the lead up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games and that appropriate actions can be taken if and when necessary.

CKC sent out information to the paddling community concerning the spread of COVID-19 last week, and will continue to do so on a regular basis. Please understand that the sport, medical and public authority understanding of COVID-19 continues to evolve and that decisions, recommendations and guidelines may change as new information emerges. In this regard, we expect that further updates could be forthcoming within the next 24-48 hours, if not sooner.

CKC is keenly aware of the community concern and disruptions related to the COVID-19 outbreak and recognize that these disruptions particularly affect our athletes and their competitive aspirations for the upcoming season. CKC will do everything within its control to ensure that disruptions to selection and Olympic qualification opportunities are minimized to the greatest extent possible and will communicate any further information that it has in relation to selection and Olympic qualification as soon as it is available. In the meantime, athletes should feel comfortable reaching out to coaches, staff, parents or other trusted individuals to share their concerns and any issues arising from this situation, or to ask questions. A CKC Mental Health resource document is available here.

As of today (March 12), the following measures will be put in place to ensure we are minimizing risk to our athletes and support staff who are currently out of the country at training camps:

1) Any CKC person or team currently located outside of North America should return home as soon as possible. There is a Junior Slalom Development Camp currently in France and arrangements are currently being made for their return.

2) CKC will be restricting all non-essential travel for staff, athletes and personnel, and recommend that any individuals, provincial or club teams that have not departed to camps or competitions outside of the country cancel these trips that were planned to take place in the next 30-days or until it is considered safe to resume travel. We will continue to evaluate this recommendation based on all relevant information.

3) CKC further recommends that all individuals, Clubs and Provincial or Territorial Organizations consult relevant governmental health guidelines for travel, as well as ensure that all participants are fully covered with medical travel insurance. A linked resource is available for organizations to assess the risk associated with different travel and activities.

4) The CKC Sprint National Team training in Indian Harbour Beach (CKC Florida Camp) will remain there and will continue training as we monitor the situation on an on-going basis. However, an area of risk for CKC is movement in and out of the CKC Florida Camp; as such the following measures will be put in place:

  • CKC will restrict any additional athletes, family, friends and support personnel from joining or entering the CKC Florida Camp to reduce the risk for our athletes already training at the camp. This will include athletes scheduled to join the U21 training camp.
  • Athletes and Staff currently in the CKC Florida Camp environment will be asked, at the present time, to not leave the environment for travel home or to other locations, in an effort to limit the risks associated with travel. CKC staff will specifically follow up with athletes who planned on traveling as part of their preparation over the coming weeks.

5) From a medical perspective, CKC will put in place the following measures which will be further encouraged with all individuals within the CKC training environments, and within the wider CKC community;

  • Engage in “social distancing”
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • No mass gatherings
  • Limit changes to the environment
  • Avoid people who are ill
  • Wash hands frequently and avoid touching your face
  • If you are sick, stay home or isolated and wear a face mask to avoid infecting others
  • The above is what you’re likely aware of, but be committed.
  • Please find further details here.

6) We know that Event/Competition confirmation or cancellations will assist in guiding further decisions, and we will continue to engage with the ICF, COPAC, COC, CPC and our partners at the American Canoe Association, regarding these events.

7) If additional restrictions are imposed by governments, this will also guide further decisions.

8) We are aware that the COC, CPC, IPC, Sport Canada and OTP are meeting this afternoon to discuss further. We are hopeful that additional messaging will be forthcoming from this group and if so, we will be sure to communicate it promptly.

Please rest assured that CKC is doing everything possible to stay up to date on any and all developments related to COVID-19 and that we will continue to do so moving forward.


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 TwitterFacebookInstagram and YouTube.


For more information:

Maryn Sommerfeldt


Colleen Coderre

Communications Lead