Speed Skating Canada Updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak rapidly evolves in Canada, we are all now 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. To date, we have made several operational decisions to help minimize the effects of COVID-19 on our athletes and staffSSC will continue to update our membership and the greater speed skating community 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. 

AGM and Congress (updated March 25)

Effective March 24, SSC has made the decision to proactively cancel the formal AGM and Congress scheduled for June 2020 in Ottawa.

  • Given the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak, which may persist for a number of weeks or months, we do not feel that it would be prudent to put the health of our members – or the financial position of SSC – at risk by moving forward with the commitments necessary to meet in person. 
  • We have begun making plans to conduct our Annual General Meeting electronically, as permitted by our Bylaws. We are also exploring the possibility of hosting conference sessions later in the year to replace our Congress. Additional information on this year’s AGM and Congress will follow in due time.

High Performance (updated March 23)

  • All National Team athletes who have recently returned to Canadaas well as their training partners and/or roommates in the National Team program, are following the self-isolation directive recommended by public health authorities to help prevent further spread of the virus.  
  • 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. 
  • During this time, athletes have access to virtual consultations with medical and sport science staff members. 
  • Coaches are currently working on adapted personalized training plans for their athletes, which include at-home and/or outdoor activities, to be put into place once training resumes. 
  • High Performance staff are working to adapt team selection criteria for the 2020-2021 season, based on the cancellation of the Short Track World Championships and domestic ranking events. 
  • 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. 
  • SSC is still intent on hosting a Short Track Talent Development Camp in Montreal from July 19-25, 2020. Our High Performance staff are currently working on a new method of selecting camp invitees after the domestic competitions we planned to use to select skaters were cancelled. The situation will be re-evaluated in early May and more information will be communicated at that time.

Operations (updated March 18)

Effective March 13all SSC offices have been temporarily closed and all staff members are working remotely.  

  • Staff will remain accessible via phone and email during this time 
  • All meetings will take place using virtual meeting tools 
  • All non-essential work travel has been cancelled 

Events (updated March 18)

Effective March 12, SSC made the decision to cancel all remaining domestic events of the 2019-20 season, which includes the following competitions: 

  • Short Track Canada Cup Final (March 13-15) 
  • Long Track Canada Cup 4 (March 19-22) 
  • Short Track Canada Cup Junior Final (March 20-22) 
  • Canadian Youth Short Track Championships - East (March 28-29) 
  • Canadian Youth Short Track Championships - West (March 28-29) 

Advice to Members (updated March 18)

  • We applaud our PTSOs and local clubs for taking measures to postpone or cancel events and training sessions, 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.