New information is being communicated daily from all levels of governments, while national and provincial sport associations are preparing safety guidelines and sport adaptations in order to be prepared for the relaunch.
Once governing bodies give the go-ahead for community sport to return to sport and activity, local-sport organizations will need to be prepared to work with the changes and have a strong communication plan ready for their membership.
Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy puts safety first while gradually reopening businesses, resuming activities, and getting people back to work - and back to participating in sport, physical activity, and active recreation (SPAR).
While organized SPAR is not currently possible, with the weather warming up, there are many outdoor activities Albertans can do safely while still following all public health orders and legislation and the Government of Alberta guidance.
Golf and outdoor shooting ranges have re-opened with conditions.
Guidance for organized outdoor sport, physical activity, and recreation It is recommended every organization develop a written plan to prevent transmission of COVID-19. A template is under development. (Updated May 29, 2020)
After evaluating the provincial guidelines for stage one the City of Lethbridge has approved the opening of the following: as of May 14, 2020.
- Playgrounds & outdoor fitness equipment (updated May 28, 2020)
- Disc Golf at Nicholas Sheran Park
- Tennis Club at Henderson
- Skate Parks across the city
- Mountain Bike Park in the river valley
- Horseshoe Pits across the city
- Lawn Bowling at Ted Petrunia Park and Bocce at Redwood Park
- Other outdoor courts (for recreational use only) including:
- Unfenced sports fields (Updated: May 23, 2020)
It is important that residents understand that these amenities can only be used if participants can properly follow the provincial public health orders. This includes:
- No groups larger than 50 (Updated: May 23, 2020)
- Physical distancing of at least 2 metres at all times from anyone outside of your household
- Washing/sanitizing your hands well and often
The Lethbridge Region Economic Recovery Task Force website includes a Lethbridge & Region Supplier List. (Updated: May 27, 2020)
Summer Camps with limits on occupancy are permitted within Stage 1 of Alberta's relaunch strategy. Those considering outdoor SPAR summer camps should follow Alberta Health Services Health and Safety Guidelines for Child Care Centres.
For all who are beginning to consider relaunching you must be knowledgeable of and align to key Alberta Government COVID-19 information and resources and move forward knowing that operational standards for businesses also apply to not-for-profit organizations. As a first step in developing your re-launch strategy, it is recommended that you review:
Refer to your sport governing body for their COVID-19 return to sport guidelines and timelines such as Skate Canada Response: COVID-19 where you can find the Return to Skating Guidelines.
Rather than starting from scratch, consider building your re-launch strategy upon good ideas and best practices being implemented in other jurisdictions, including:
In a town-hall telephone call on Monday, May 4th involving Premier Jason Kenny, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the Hon. Leela Aheer and other Ministers, it was clearly communicated that relaunch strategies are to be developed by the senior coordinating / accreditation body for consideration by the Alberta Government. For example, Tennis Canada has issued tips and recommendations for players and club administrators, coaches, and anyone organizing tennis activities. These tips and recommendations have then been built upon by Tennis Alberta who is submitting its relaunch strategy to the Alberta Government.
Therefore, for example, all hockey organizations in Alberta should be following the return to play guidelines developed by Hockey Alberta (or Hockey Canada if a national return to play strategy is developed) - after having been shared with the Alberta Government. It is further suggested that organizations that offer multiple activities follow the return to play guidelines as developed by the recognized coordinating/recognized accreditation body for each activity offered.
It was also identified in the town hall meeting, that when return to play guidelines are developed, a large facility/space may enable the physical separation of several participant groups, Lastly, it was suggested that the Alberta Government could help source Personal Protection Equipment for service providers, but would not be financially responsible for such equipment.
As whenever an organization changes its mandate, program design or content, they are encouraged to consult with their insurance broker and a lawyer to review participant waivers and assumption of risk forms for minors.
Adapted from the Edmonton Sport Council
All Sports Community Lethbridge Sport Council
Posted May 14, 2020