The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) and Own The Podium (OTP) announced a significant investment in a phased return for high-performance sport on Monday in a joint statement.
With the majority of the sports world on pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including a one-year postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games to the summer of 2021, the organizations have invested $5 million as they look to get high-performance sports in Canada back up and running.
The investment will be directed to the greatest areas of need, as directed by the Return To Sport Task Force, with a priority on optimizing safe and health environments for the athletes.
“A return to high-performance sport does not happen overnight, nor is there a one-stop solution,” said COC CEO David Schoemaker. “As Canada’s high-performance athletes and coaches will soon return to training in pursuit of their Olympic and Paralympic dreams, we want them to be able to do so in a manner that is safe for them, their families, and their communities.”
Led by OTP, a Canadian not-for-profit organization that provides funding to athletes chasing their Olympic dreams, the Return To Sport Task Force has developed a National Framework of minimum standards based on current evidence and guidelines from health authorities.
“We are incredibly pleased with this collaborative approach to look at solutions for returning to high-performance sport,” said CPC CEO Karen O’Neill. “Canadian Together, we are committed to supporting the sport community, and it is so important to get this right.”
Swimming Canada CEO Ahmed El-Awadi says the investment is an important step in the country’s safe return to sport.
“This is a tremendous announcement by the COC, CPC and OTP and will be beneficial for all Canadian sport,” said El-Awadi. “This critical investment in the sport system is a much needed additional step to ensure a safe transition for Canada’s athletes and coaches in a return to training and, ultimately, a return to competition.”
Swimming Canada released its “Return To Swimming” framework on May 29.