Swimming Canada’s High Performance Center in Quebec has set a tentative July 4 date for restarting its swimming training group. High Performance Centers in Victoria, Vancouver and Toronto do not yet have restart dates.
Training hubs across the world are starting to make plans to resume their training programs amid the coronavirus pandemic. Swimming Canada published a “return to swimming” framework back in late May. That four-step process starts with small groups, limited to one athlete per lane. After at least three weeks in that Step 1 phase, facilities can move to Step 2, which allows larger groups, though still with the one-per-lane restriction.
Quebec actually has more COVID-19 cases than any other Canadian province: 54,383 total cases and 5,340 deaths as of yesterday. That’s more than half of Canada’s 100,220 total cases. Quebec is the second-most-populated Canadian province behind Ontario.
On the other hand, new cases have started to tail off in Quebec after peaking in early May. Daily new cases in Quebec have stayed below 200 since June 8. In early May, Quebec was seeing upwards of 1,000 new COVID-19 cases a day.
The High Performance Center in Quebec is the training base for many of Canada’s top Paralympic swimmers. Per Swimming Canada’s website, the training center includes 2019 World Para Swimming Championships team members Morgan Bird, Danielle Dorris, Danielle Kisser, Tess Routliffe, James Leroux and Zach Zona. Routliffe won a silver and two bronze medals at that meet, and Leroux won a silver.
The full Swimming Canada press release is below:
Swimming Canada welcomes the news of pools opening in various jurisdictions across Canada, and is pleased to continue to work in collaboration with its ten provincial section members who are leading the return to swimming process in their provinces.
“We can’t wait to see our clubs, university programs and High Performance Centres back in the pool,” said Swimming Canada CEO Ahmed El-Awadi. “We understand that each provincial health authority is approaching the reopening of pools differently, and we encourage them to continue communicating with their provincial swimming organizations.”
Swimming Canada’s framework, published on May 29th, contains a number of recommendations to equip and inform health authorities, aquatic facilities, provincial sections, clubs and coaches in their roles leading a safe return to pools that have been closed since mid-March. Recommended measures include health monitoring, physical distancing, personal hygiene, and equipment use. All plans must adhere to provincial and municipal requirements with the main focus remaining on health and safety.
“It is great to see some provinces taking the lead on reopening pools in a safe manner. Swimming Canada’s high-performance athletes are ready to dive back in when the green light is given to reopen their pools,” said Swimming Canada High Performance Director John Atkinson.
Swimming Canada’s High Performance Centre – Quebec based at the Institut National du Sport du Québec, has a tentative restart date of July 4 for its first group. The organization hopes to be able to restart its programs at the High Performance Centres in Victoria, Vancouver and Toronto as soon as possible.
“We have a really safe, well thought out framework that has been put together and we are ready to see it implemented across the country, specifically within our own High Performance Centres,” Atkinson said. “It’s important for Team Canada internationally to have our athletes and clubs get back in the water to resume training towards their goals.”