More updates from our Section can be found here: https://skateabnwtnun.ca/covid-19-2/
Skate Canada: Alberta-NWT/Nunavut Return to Skating Phase 2 Protocols
Date: July 3, 2020
From: Lisa Hardy, Executive Director Skate Canada: Alberta-NWT/Nunavut
Good Morning Clubs and Skating School Directors,
Since the June 12, 2020 launch of Phase 1 Return to Skating twenty Section clubs in Alberta are now offering some form of programming to their skaters or will be starting next week. It is good to see many young athletes doing what they love in a safe and healthy environment and for everyone to feel some sense of normalcy.
We expect this number to increase significantly as arenas continue to re-open and Phase 2 protocols become available to offer expanded programming. Club and Skating School resources for Return to Skating Phase 1 Return to Skating Protocols and the Return to Skating Club and Skating School COVID-19 Playbook, along with a variety of templates and forms may be found on the section website under Highlights / Return to Skating. Resources are updated as new information is available or as restrictions are lifted, so please continue to check the website for updated resources.
Thank you for your patience and Good Luck as we continue together in this adventure.
Skate Canada: Alberta - NWT/Nunavut Return to Play Protocols – PHASE 1
Version 1.2 – June 11, 2020
Clubs and skating schools shall limit programming in Phase 1 as follows:
• STARSkate (recreational competitive stream), Power Skating (Advanced
Stage of Development), Competitive and Adult skaters only at this time
• CanSkate (learn to skate), Power Skating (Early / Moderate Stages of
Development), Inclusive Skating and any Junior Academy-type
programming should not be taking place during Phase 1
No events (carnivals, fun meets competitions, simulations, assessment days) will
be sanctioned during Phase 1
Skate Canada: Alberta-NWT/Nunavut will communicate in subsequent Versions
of these Protocols updated information as it becomes available or as we move
into Phase 2 of Return to Skating.
Update: June 9, 2020
COVID-19 Return to Play Protocol Section Communication to Clubs, Skating Schools and Coaches
We are excited to share that it was announced today that Return to Skating has been included in Stage 2 of the Province of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy.
“Stage 2 will allow additional businesses and services to reopen and resume operations starting June 12 with 2 metre physical distancing requirements and other public health guidelines in place.”
Indoor recreation, fitness and sports, including gyms and arenas, as well as casinos (with restrictions) have been approved to reopen with the launch of Stage 2. The opening of casinos again is a welcome addition to the opening of arenas as we know many of our clubs and the Section rely on casinos as a part of their fundraising efforts.
I realize you can feel the momentum that is building behind returning to the ice and I understand your excitement, but we want to ensure we maintain forward momentum. We don’t want to take any steps, or miss any steps, that might result in an interruption of Return to Skating. The Section has worked with the Provincial Health Authorities, the National Sports Organization (Skate Canada), other Skate Canada Sections and many other Provincial Sport Organizations to ensure we are all committed to relaunching our sports in a measured approach and with the health and safety of our members as our #1 priority, and we need to continue on that same path.
As I have previously mentioned, we will be releasing a Club Playbook soon that will provide guidance to ALL clubs, skating schools and coaches and will ensure we relaunch skating in a CONSISTENT and SAFE manner. I realize it is tempting to have each club build their own processes but please know our protocols and templates are intended to eliminate much of the administrative burden that will be placed on the clubs as a result of tracking and managing the COVID-19 pandemic.
The RETURN TO SKATING CLUB AND SKATING SCHOOL COVID-19 PLAYBOOK has been created based on the Skate Canada: Alberta-NWT/Nunavut Section’s protocols currently under review. Today we received the Indoor Return to Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation guidance document from the Province and are now reviewing and making any adjustments required to ensure all provincial guidelines are met. Once all reviews are complete and we have received Board approval we will distribute these to you, hopefully by the end of the week. I ask that you refrain from building your own policies and processes until you have a chance to review the Playbook.
Return to Skating will not be straightforward. It will vary by municipality and even within municipalities but it is imperative we all work together to meet the Provincial guidelines and the Skate Canada: Alberta-NWT/Nunavut Return to Skating Protocols. In most cases, you will likely need to work with other Skate Canada Clubs and Skating Schools, or other sports organizations (hockey, ringette) in order to make ice sports accessible to your members.
It is imperative that each club should designate a single point of contact within the club or skating school who is responsible to work with your facilities and municipality and who will ensure the implementation and adherence of safety of public health guidelines. It is also important that clubs and coaches work collaboratively together through this process. These steps will be vital moving forward to ensure consistent protocols and processes are in place within the organization for proper management and implementation.
We have many talented individuals within our Section, and everyone wants to return to skating as soon as possible but please ensure communications from your club are coordinated both in messaging and execution.
As I promised during the Return to Skating update at the AGM, we have scheduled a Town Hall webinar for Saturday June 13, 2020 at 10:00am where we will provide an update, review the resources available, and take questions from the participants.
We will also be sharing resources as they become available through-out the week to assist clubs and skating schools in starting the work needed to be ready to get back on the ice.
As we build new relationships and look at new ways to deliver the sport of figure skating, we will end up stronger in the end as a result. And we will certainly have quite a story to tell when this is over!
Sincerely, Lisa Hardy
Update: June 2, 2020
To our clubs, skating schools, coaches, officials, volunteers and our skaters, I want you to know that we miss you and are thankful for your continued engagement, resilience, resourcefulness and ability to adapt as we manage our way through these unprecedented times.
As we approach the beginning of the fourth month away from sport, we are all beginning to see more media attention on Return to Play. I want to assure you that our section is highly involved in these discussions and we have been advocating for Return to Skating in consultation with insurance providers, health and government authorities, our National Sports Organization (Skate Canada) as well as all other Alberta Provincial Sports Organizations and Skate Canada sections.
As all sports organizations progress on Return to Play across the country, we do so by working closely with different health authorities. Each province’s approach may vary in timing, in sense of urgency and based on a (potentially different) variety of factors. Please know, we are passionate at wanting to facilitate Return to Skating as soon as possible and are doing everything we can to make that happen.
The Skate Canada: Alberta-NWT/Nunavut section has been actively been working on, and advocating for, an earlier relaunch of skating and the opening of low-risk facilities in the Province. In addition to this ongoing advocacy work, we submitted an Early Re-launch proposal to Alberta Health and the Province in anticipation of this week’s assessment of recreation, sport and fitness activities.
We have also been receiving questions regarding what is permissible for outdoor training and activities. In our last update on May 11th we referenced the opening of greenspaces in Stage 1 of the Provincial Relaunch and the “lifting of the suspension of Skate Canada activities with limitations”. Since then, the Province has released two Guidance documents related to those activities.
Please see that attached update for more detailed information on our Return to Play strategy, and explanation of the Provincial Guidance documents that apply to anyone holding training activities outdoors.
Skate Canada: Alberta-NWT/Nunavut will continue to work on behalf of our membership to resume skating as soon as possible in the section and will continue to provide updates to the membership. We feel the work, meetings, and collaboration done by the section to date is being heard and we are seeing results. Dr Hinshaw’s recent public comments regarding the assessment of individual sports and facilities and her openness to promote their scheduled relaunch has been very encouraging. We look forward to a decision at the Emergency Management Cabinet soon.
I will be hosting a town hall to answer questions once we have more definitive answers from Alberta Health or the Province regarding our Early Re-launch proposal, draft protocols or indoor facilities opening.
Update: May 11, 2020
As we have seen over the past two months the COVID-19 virus continues to remain fluid and provide more questions than answers for all of us as to what the information we receive means and when are we able to get back on the ice. The challenge in finding answers to these questions are amplified by the fact that each Provincial jurisdiction across Canada has their own restrictions in place as well as their own individualized re-launch strategy and process.
During the last 2 months, we have been actively engaged with our Government Sports Consultant and managers, participated in several meetings with our Minister, weekly meetings with other Provincial Sport Organizations (PSO’s) in Alberta, in addition to our meetings with Skate Canada and other Sections concerning the pandemic and our return to play. In Alberta’s relaunch strategy released April 30th all recreation centres and arenas listed as being not permitted to re-open until Stage 3 (and therefore the sports that run their programming in those facilities also fall under Stage 3. Please refer to the attached update for additional information.
The Section’s sport specific recommended guidelines and protocols that are needed to comply with our Provincial and Territorial restrictions are currently in development. We know that our sport is unique to others being primarily an individual, non-contact sport, and as a result has social distancing measures already in place in some areas. We need to be reminded however that without any restrictions lifted on facilities we will still not be able to resume our on-ice activities. We hope to have additional clarity and information to share over the next few weeks with our members that will assist your club or skating school in conversations with your local municipality, and to implement into your planning process so you are prepared to re-open as soon as restrictions are lifted.
Many of you will also have seen today Skate Canada’s announcement that they have “lifted the suspension of Skate Canada activities with limitations”. Please note: Activities are still only permitted if they are allowed in the jurisdiction that they are located in, which means in Alberta off-ice training and activities with social distancing measures in place at permitted open green-spaces and parks (By the Province or Municipality) are now allowed (effective today).
Additional information, online resources
May 11, 2020 Skate Canada Sanction Suspensions lifted https://skatecanada.ca/2020/05/return-to-skating/
Skate Canada FAQ: https://skatecanada.ca/covid-19-response/
Alberta Relaunch Strategy https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-relaunch-strategy.aspx
Skate Canada: Alberta-NWT/Nunavut
Update: March 12, 2020
All LBFSC program on and off the ice are cancelled until further notice due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Lake Bonavista Figure Skating Club