On Monday, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), Paralympic Committee (CPC) and Own the Podium (OTP) announced a $5 million investment in the return of high-performance sport after the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The funds will be directed by the Return to Sport Task Force, which aims to set up a framework for the athletic association of the country to get back to competition. Last week, Swimming Canada also published its “Return to Swimming” guidelines with a stated goal of resuming major competitions in December.
The funding announcement on Monday is on top of a $72 million infusion to national and provincial organizations by the national government last month to cover shortfalls of anticipated revenue after the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games were suspended to 2021.
Canada’s sporting administrators have pledged to try and save as many sports organizations as they can. The outlay of funds in May consisted of $5 million in athlete assistance. Returning high performance sports to competition will resume the revenue flowing, but Shoemaker and others emphasize safety is the priority in getting athletes back.
A resume to competition for Canada’s high-performance sport, much like the return to training, will take on a different form since the coronavirus pandemic progresses. Those changes come with expenses, when it comes to time and resources.
According to Swimming Canada CEO Ahmed El-Awadi, this is a tremendous announcement by the COC, CPC, and OTP and will be beneficial for all Canadian sports. This critical investment in the sport system is a needed additional step to make sure a safe transition for Canada’s athletes and coaches in a resume to training and, ultimately, to competition.
Meanwhile, gymnast Rosie MacLennan, the vice chair of the COC Athletes’ Commission said that they are truly grateful for the effort and investment towards making sure that athletes can return to sport in a safe and healthy environment.