COVID-19 update from Orest Stanko, Executive Director, Canoe Kayak Ontario (CKO)
On Thursday May 14th, 2020 Premier Ford announced amendments to the restrictions related to the COVID-19 State of Emergency. The announcement has important implications for the paddling community as we enter Stage 1 of Ontario’s re-opening. Canoe Kayak Ontario (CKO) would like to take this opportunity to provide some guidance and clarity regarding the recent announcement by the Government of Ontario.
Training for canoe/kayak as an individual sport is included in Stage 1 and MUST include a Return to Play Protocol. Canoe Kayak Canada (CKC) has taken the initiative and prepared/published a “Return to Paddle” protocol that will serve to guide CKO and clubs in this stage of Ontario’s re-opening.
The Emergency Order outlining the details of Stage 1 has not been made public.. We expect the “order” will be available sometime today or over the weekend. This information is critical to implementing a comprehensive Return to Play Protocol. For the safety and protection of all athletes, coaches and members we ask that all clubs and teams maintain the status quo until this information is made available. As there is no insurance in place it is inadvisable to undertake club activities. Insurers will only consider providing insurance coverage once the Ministry has approved the sport to resume activity. We are in a holding pattern until further notice.
It is also important to note that the return to training will be done in phases.. Clubs will need to implement public health guidelines with respect to COVID-19 into their training environment.
In support of this planning we encourage all clubs to :
● Complete the CSIO “Risk Assessment Tool” under on our @ HOME page here. This tool will help identify gaps in current practice and help to formulate plans to protect the health and safety of athletes, coaches and practitioners.
● Adopt appropriate risk mitigation measures to ensure a safe environment. Please see CKC’s “Return To Paddle” protocol:
The Ministry is working to share additional information related to yesterday’s announcement on Phase 1 reopening. The final details of the Change to the Emergency Order will be posted on the website below:
Once the details of the criteria are known CKO will support the clubs of the various disciplines as we move through the Return to Paddle process.
The choices each of us makes in the days ahead will be reflected in how the 2020/2021 season will unfold for the entire paddling community. Should you decide as an individual to paddle CKO encourages you to respect public health advisories. Stay safe and avoid burdening the emergency response system.
Canoe Kayak Ontario will update clubs by no later than the morning of Wednesday, May 20. In the meantime rest assured that we are working diligently to get everyone back on the water in the safest and fastest way possible.