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Water Polo Canada Update #6 Relative to the COVID-19 situation

Water Polo Canada Update #6

Relative to the COVID-19 situation

As of April 24, 2020

Content of this release is based on a wide range of reliable sources – especially on the recommendations of the Canadian Sport Medicine Advisory Committee (1), and the Communiqués published by Sport Canada.

New items since update #5 (published April 6, 2020)


  • Although the curves continue to flatten in Canada, there remains a lot of risks involved in relaxing restrictions too early, and we can only reemphasize that in Canada, there are limited resources available, and asymptomatic spread is occurring. Please continue to assume all others have COVID and act responsibly. Despite media reports of some sports or leagues discussing June to re-start, this is not imminent in Canada. It remains too early to start training in groups or shared facilities as the risks of transmission and becoming infected are still very high.

Mental Health

  • COVID-19 has led to changes to our daily routine, a constant influx of information, and uncertainty about the future. As a result, the COVID-19 Mental Health and Mental Performance Taskforce Group are seeing a range of reactions by the sports community, including increased anxiety and stress, fluctuating motivation, concerns about training and deconditioning, fear of prolonged isolation and lack of connection, but also positive adaptation and resilience. In addition to taking care of our physical health, it is equally essential to protect our mental health, promote well-being, and build mental fitness and resilience.


  • On April 2, Water Polo Canada (WPC) issued a release relative to insurance coverage for online training and home workouts. On April 21, further guidelines and a FAQ was published.
  • These releases have been sent to all Provincial Sport Organizations (PSOs) asking them to share with their clubs. If you have not received the info, please communicate with your club leader or PSO.


* * * * *

Elements from Water Polo Canada previous updates that are still valid

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.
  • 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.
  • The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) provides a wealth of practical information on its site, including awareness tools that can be downloaded; travel advisories and guidance; broader guidance documents; and information on prevention and risks. You can review it here:

And specifically:

International Travel

  • International travel must be cancelled or postpone until further notice.
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.

Canadian Sport Medicine Advisory Committee RECOMMENDATIONS

Hygiene and Social Precautions:
  • All Canadians should stay at home, work from home, and exercise at home to the extent this is possible. The actual regulations may be different from Province to Province but the essential principle is the same.
  • Maintain a distance of 2 metres from other people.
  • There is a preferred hierarchy for handling coughs and sneezes.
  • Best practice is to expel respiratory droplets into disposable tissue, dispose of it safely, then immediately wash or sanitize hands.
  • Expelling respiratory droplets onto a flexed elbow is better than no protection or an unprotected hand but it is non-optimal, as virus then remains on either the clothing or skin of the elbow depending on attire, either of which then need to be washed.
  • For protection of others – assume you are infected and behave as such.
  • For your protection – assume all others are infected and behave as such.
Government of Canada Recommendations:
  • All Canadians are being urged to stay at home where at all possible.
  • All non-essential travel outside Canada is to be avoided, the US border is closed to non-essential traffic until at least May 21st. All Canadians currently abroad are urged to return to Canada ASAP.
  • All travellers returning from any destination outside of Canada are required to self-isolate for 14 days from the date of return (see the infographic below for specific information on what is involved in self-isolation).
Know the difference: self-monitoring, self-isolation, and isolation for COVID-19
 2019-2020 NCL season:
  • On March 25, 2020, WPC has made the difficult decision to cancel the remainder of the 2019-2020 National Championship League (NCL) season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Over the past few weeks, we have evaluated the scenarios related to hosting its 2020 NCL events under present conditions. Given the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures put in place by government authorities, in particular the closure of sports facilities and the ban on holding rallies, WPC has now determined that all remaining 2019-2020 National Championship League events, including Conference Championships and National Finals, must be cancelled.
  • Water Polo Canada is investigating the possible alternatives for NCL clubs, including partial reimbursement of the teams’ NCL fees. Given the amount of uncertainty around the current situation, WPC asked clubs and provincial organizations for their patience during this process.

2020-2021 Registration Fees:

  • Background: Over the last 5 years the WPC Registration Fees have been increased at a rate of 2.5% per year (except for the Clubs & PSOs fees that have been kept stable)
  • Decision: For 2020-2021 there will be no increase (same as the current registration year). Status quo as well for the Safe Sport Surcharge introduced for this current registration year.

Annual General Meeting (AGM):

  • Background: The AGM was scheduled June 12-14 in Calgary
  • Decision: WPC in-person AGM weekend in Calgary is cancelled
  • The AGM portion itself (typically a block of 2 hours) will take place on Sunday June 14 at 1:30 pm Eastern time zone and via a web-based platform
  • The other components of the originally scheduled AGM weekend are postponed to a later date TBD during the 2020-2021 fiscal (most likely in October or later) except for the Registration Management System / Database discussion with Jason Robinson (Senior Consultant at Sport, law and Strategy Group) that will be held via a web-based platform at a date and time TBD but during the month of June.

Water Polo Canada staff, programs and administration:

  • WPC anticipates no lay-offs or downsizing of its permanent workforce (employees) and as a result essentially 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.
  • Since Wednesday March 25th, Water Polo Canada National Office in Ottawa is closed with staff working from home.
  • WPC Staff travel: no international travel until further notice and no domestic travel unless absolutely necessary, pre-approved and strictly following public health (municipal/provincial) regulations.


  • 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) and in our sport in general in order to help recovery as a sport once the crisis is over.
  • On March 31st, the Union Americana de Natacion (UANA) has taken the decision to postpone all their summer/fall events including the 2020 UANA Junior Pan American Water Polo Championships that were scheduled to take place July 5to 12 in Edmonton, Alberta.
  • UANA is postponing the event to a date to be determined and its Executive Committee as well as its Technical Water Polo Committee have engaged in discussions with us and us with our Partners in Edmonton and in Alberta as well as with funding agencies to look at various scenarios.


  • The 2020 UANA Junior Pan American Water Polo Championships was the first of a series of events that are/were scheduled for our AGNT program in 2020.
  • We are in regular communication with the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) and at this time its leaders have not taken decisions about postponing, cancelling or any other changes relative to Junior or Youth events scheduled in the summer or early fall 2020 or in 2021
  • In the meantime, the 2020 Age Group National Team selection process has been put on hold until further notice. More information will follow once direction has been provided by our international federations (FINA & UANA).

(1) The Sport Medicine Advisory Committee is comprised of Chief Medical Officers from the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Canadian Paralympic Committee, and the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network



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