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Pandemic Impact and Next Season

By Tricia Smith, 05/06/20, 9:30AM MDT


I hope this message finds you and your families well and safe. I hope that the pandemic situation has had minimal impact on the lives of our members, athletes and your families. I am sending this message to provide an update on information we have received from Ringette Alberta regarding the pandemic response and it's impact on our sport. As you all know COVID-19 continues to have a significant impact on many aspects of everyone's daily lives, including participation in organized sports. This is normally the time of year that we are holding our Annual General Meeting and getting everything ready for the start of the upcoming season. Obviously, current restrictions make holding an in-person AGM impossible. The SARA Board is looking at options for how to accomplish all the legislated requirements, while following our own Bylaws and the Public Health Orders. Once a plan is finalized, we will communicate the details to all SARA members.

As you all know, Servus Place remains closed, so we are unable to access it to facilitate equipment return. Once we are able to access the facility we will send information to coaches and managers about the equipment return.

As for planning for the upcoming season, there remains a lot of unknowns. However, we wanted to share what we do know and how we are looking to move forward. Ringette Alberta has informed us that they have teamed up with seven other sport leaders in the province to advocate on behalf of sport. Their goal is to ensure that sport is seen as an asset to the province and as part of the recovery from the pandemic impact. Government is engaging with 100+ sport organizations to keep them informed of the plans as things evolve. Ringette Alberta has committed to supporting the associations and sharing any and all information they receive to assist with upcoming season planning.

Alberta does have a Relaunch Strategy, however we do not have clear timelines for when sport facilities will reopen, nor do we have clear return to play guidelines for our sport. It is very difficult to plan for the upcoming season without a sense of what the provincial guidelines will look like. That said, there is an expectation that sport will gradually return to our lives, with contact sports likely returning later in the relaunch phases. The benefit to this is that we will have some advance notice of sports restarting, and have the opportunity to put more solid plans in place.

The SARA Board is committed to planning, as much as possible, for what we hope is a full season of ringette! As information is received regarding a provincial approach to returning to play, we will share how it impacts our sport and association.

Whatever guidelines are in place when we are allowed to move forward, we will need the help of members to step into several volunteer board positions to help make the season successful. More details will be coming soon regarding which positions are open for the upcoming season.

Thank you and stay well!

Tricia Smith
Vice President
St. Albert Ringette Association