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Water Polo Canada Update #3 Relative to the COVID-19 situation

Dear Friends and Colleagues in Water Polo,

These are very challenging times for sport, its people and the various organizations that support its development. For Water Polo Canada (WPC) and its Provincial Sport Organizations (PSOs) the health and safety of our athletes, coaches, referees, volunteers, employees & contractors is our priority. We understand the concerns of the clubs and encourage ongoing dialogue to take place in order to collectively seek the best solutions to protect the integrity of our sport at all levels. We thank you for your dedication to the wonderful sport of water polo and for your efforts to protect the health of our members while preparing for the healing and the rebound once the crisis is over. We are in this together.

Martin Goulet,

Executive Director, Water Polo Canada


Water Polo Canada Update #3

Relative to the COVID-19 situation

As of March 21, 2020

WPC has published its first set of recommendations relative to the COVID-19 situation on Saturday March 7th, then a first update on Tuesday March 10th, and a second update on March 14th. The first two communications were specifically focused on water polo events taking place in Canada and associated preventive measures. With the landscape drastically evolving, our third communication was more comprehensive. Following an important conference call with Presidents and Executive Directors of WPC and its six (6) biggest PSOs that took place on Thursday March 19th, this newest update is addressing a wide range of issues that have arisen since the beginning of the crisis.

Content of this release is based on a wide range of reliable sources – especially on the recommendations of the Canadian Sport Medicine Advisory Committee , and the Communiqués published by Sport Canada.

IN general 

  • For WPC and its PSOs the health and safety of our athletes, coaches, referees, volunteers, employees, contractors & partners is our first priority.
  • Measures taken in light of COVID-19 are meant to protect the best interests of athletes, officials, coaches, volunteers, employees, contractors and all those who contribute to our organizations.
  • Each of us and each of our organizations has a role to play in safeguarding the ability of our communities and institutions to weather the impacts of COVID-19. Collective measures of active prevention are important to slow the spread of the virus. Water Polo Canada is committed to contributing to the collective effort.
  • The situation is evolving rapidly. Provincial and territorial authorities as well as cities have introduced a range of measures aimed at slowing down the progress of the virus in their jurisdiction and, by extension, across the country; they must be implemented systematically.

More specifically

  • It is recommended that organizations take active steps to heighten hygiene measures. These are as simple as taking care to wash hands frequently and thoroughly, and to avoid touching the mouth, nose and eyes; and increasing the cleaning schedule for training environments.

International Travel

  • International travel must be cancelled or postpone until further notice.
  • Individuals abroad must return to Canada. The Sport Medicine Advisory Committee has, over the last several days, invited the National Sport Organizations (NSOs) to evaluate situations on a case-by-case basis and consult with their Chief Medical Officer or team doctor. All our National Team Athletes still abroad – including the USA, have been asked to return to Canada. As of March 19th, National Team Athletes were all back in the country. Based on Dr. Leclerc recommendations, athletes are following appropriate self-isolation protocols. Our medical staff is closely monitoring health and well being of the athletes.

Domestic Travel

  • PHAC, Sport Canada and the Sport Medicine Advisory Committee’s advice is to avoid non-essential travel. Please consider domestic travel carefully and investigate regional or provincial travel advisories . NSOs should weigh all travel questions with extra care, in consultation with their CMO (Chief Medical Officer) or team doctor. They are suggesting to turn to the CMOs of the Sport Medicine Advisory Committee for additional advice. That’s what Water Polo Canada is doing for its National Team Program working with Dr. Suzanne Leclerc, CMO of the Institut national du sport du Québec where both our Men’s and Women’s National Team Programs are in residence.
  • Based on the experience of certain sports, there is a growing risk that, in light of risks due to the COVID-19 virus, insurance coverage may no longer cover in some circumstances. Organizations and individuals are therefore strongly encouraged to contact their insurance provider prior to travel to confirm insurance coverage or take additional coverage with their travel agency or airline.
  • Water Polo Canada Women’s National Team Legacy program has been cancelled
 Events taking place in Canada

  • PHAC also advises organizers of events to consider deferring, cancelling, or changing their plans. Since situations differ, you should consult the health authorities in your jurisdiction (see contact information below) to inform your decisions. There has been a growing number of cancellations over the last few days; you may wish to consider cancelling or postponing an event, or determine whether spectator numbers can be limited. These are difficult decisions as there are consequences for cancelling, but there are also risks associated with not cancelling.
  • Relative to the NCL Water Polo Canada has so far taken the following decisions:
         Decisions taken on Thursday March 12 th :

  • The 2020 Senior National Championships being held at the Claude-Robillard Sports Centre from March 27-29 have been cancelled
  • As a result of the above, Water Polo Canada has made the decision to cancel all remaining NCL games in the Major League Water Polo (Senior) category 

Decisions taken on Friday March 13th

  • March 14, 2020 – Coquitlam, BC – Postponed
  • March 20-21, 2020 – Nepean, ON – Postponed
  • March 21, 2020 – Brantford, ON – Postponed
  • March 21, 2020 – Montreal, QC – Postponed
  • March 23, 2020 - Ottawa, ON – Postponed
  • April 2-5, 2020 – Tournament in Regina is cancelled after discussion with Water Polo Saskatchewan
  • April 3-5, 2020 – Tournament in Montreal (DDO) is cancelled
  • April 3, 2020 – Toronto, ON - Postponed
  • April 5, 2020 – Etobicoke, ON - Postponed
  • April 8, 2020 – Calgary, AB – Postponed
  • April 11, 2020 – Surrey, BC – Postponed
  • For NCL events between mid-April and late May, WPC will make a decision the week of March 23th and will advise immediately clubs, PSOs, referees, delegates, etc.
  • WPC is committed to proceed with partial reimbursement of clubs 2019-2020 NCL season fees in a fair and transparent manner. Details will be announced as soon as possible once all the decisions have been made for the remaining weekends of the 2019-2020 NCL season
  • Several Provincial Leagues and programs has already been postponed and in many cases cancelled. We encourage clubs and registrants to communicate directly with their PSO for details.


- Details on the 2019-2020 CAP are here:

- The submission deadline was January 31st and once the COVID-19 crisis hit, we had substantially completed the analysis of applications received.

- Given the situation we are facing; WPC Executive Director has requested to put this program on hold. WPC will review this file and will advise as soon as possible but the message here is that WPC is committed to protect 100% of the funds assigned to this program (up to $30,500) in order to invest back in our organizations (clubs & PSOs in some cases) in order to help recovery as a sport once the crisis is over.

  • At this time WPC anticipate no lay-offs or downsizing of its workforce and as a result all Membership Services will be maintained. Work plans will be adjusted in order to accelerate various projects (such as Membership Management System, Sustainability projects, NCL program review in preparation for the next season, etc.) while managing in the most effective way the crisis.
  • On March 17th Water Polo Canada has announced that until further notice, its staff will mainly be working from home starting Wednesday, March 18, 2020. Our National Office in Ottawa remains open with generally one staff member on-site.
  • WPC Staff travel: no international travel until further notice and limitation of domestic travel to the strict minimum
  • Year-end accounting and audit: we are proceeding as normally scheduled and our auditors (KPMG) have scheduled and re-confirmed dates of our audit (week of April 20th).
  • Our AGM weekend is still scheduled June 12-14 in Calgary. We are exploring web-based platform options as an alternative option. A third option could be to postpone to September, which per our By-Laws would be acceptable. We are consulting with our PSOs on this matter and will advise as soon as a decision is made.


  • WPC is scheduled to host the 2020 UANA Junior Pan American Water Polo Championships in Edmonton, Alberta July 5to 12, 2020.
  • We are in regular communication with the Union Americana de Natacion (UANA) Executive and Technical Water Polo Committee and at this time the event is still scheduled to go ahead
  • We are also monitoring the situation in Edmonton and the Province of Alberta along with our partners.


  • The 2020 UANA Junior Pan American Water Polo Championships is the first of a series of events that are scheduled for our AGNT program in 2020.
  • We are in regular communication with the Union Americana de Natacion (UANA) and the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) and at this time all events are still scheduled to go ahead. This can change of course and WPC will advise its membership as soon as possible.
  • In the meantime, WPC has already undertaken the analysis of potential changes to its published 2020 AGNT Program Selection criteria. We will keep our members informed.

Contact information for public health authorities by jurisdiction:

Government of Canada novel coronavirus information line: 1-833-784-4397

British Columbia: 811

Alberta : 811

Saskatchewan: 811

Manitoba: 1-888-315-9257

Ontario: 1-866-797-0000

Quebec: 1 877 644-4545

New Brunswick: 811

Nova Scotia: 811

Prince Edward Island: 811

Newfoundland and Labrador: 811 or 1-888-709-2929

Nunavut: 867-975-5772

Northwest Territories: 911

Yukon : 811



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