Swimming Canada has been very forward-thinking since the global landscape has changed over the last month and a half due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization sent out a release on April 24 outlining some of its plans for the next year or so, and now more of them have come to light in a recent document sent out.
What We Already Knew
- Swimming Canada plans to run a Senior Invitational Camp August 25-29, to get the “identified Senior Team” swimmers together to kickstart training heading into the Olympic year. This includes both pool and open water athletes.
- The organization intends to send a “full-sized team” to the 2020 Short Course World Championships, which are still scheduled to run December 16-20 in Abu Dhabi. The selection criteria are being rewritten to select from the rankings and will be finalized once FINA publishes the qualification process. Canada has historically sent relatively small teams to SC Worlds, other than when Windsor, Ont., played host to the 2016 Championships.
- After the Olympic Trials, set for April 7-11, 2021, Swimming Canada is looking at running a training camp May 16-22 with the Olympic team (pool) prior to the Games.
- The Canadian Open Water Trials will run April 17-18, 2021 in the Cayman Islands.
The new info is largely based around some of Swimming Canada’s national events for 2021 and how the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted things.
COMBINING JUNIOR AND SENIOR NATIONALS
The Canadian Junior and Canadian Swimming Championships will be combined into one meet in the summer of 2021, scheduled for July 26-August 2. This would include senior, junior and para athletes, and this is also the plan for 2022 and 2024.
In recent years, the two meets have been separate. This year the plan was to have the Junior Championships run July 22-26 and the Senior Championships August 6-9.
VIRTUALLY SCORED EASTERN AND WESTERN CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Eastern and Western Canadian Swimming Championships won’t physically take place, but will instead have a window of time for performances to count towards a virtual meet with hopes of including team banners, awards and a scored championship.
This allows athletes and clubs to primarily focus on their respective Provincial Championships in late February and through March. Provincial results, and potentially U SPORTS results, could be used for this virtual meet which theoretically could run from February 25-March 28. Eastern and Western Championships are normally scheduled for mid-April.
Both the combination of the Junior and Senior National Championships and the proposed virtually-scored Eastern and Western Championships is due to the financial difficulty many will be in as the dust settles from the pandemic.
“Swimming Canada recognizes the strain on clubs and families in the year getting back to swimming,” the organization writes in the document. “Less travel will provide some relief and allow swimmers, coaches and families to remain closer to home for longer stretches, and a training focus be paramount to all swimmers across the country.”
- The Canada Games are scheduled to run in the Niagara Region of Ontario August 5-13, 2021.
- Development Team and Open Water camps that were cancelled will be moved into the fall of 2020 and early 2021, with details to follow.