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COVID-19 Update: Return to programming (RTP)

posted 2 Oct 2020, 16:33 by Programs Chair

Dear Athletes, (Parents and Guardians):

We are excited to announce that Return to Programming is underway for certain Ottawa clubs. We can't wait to welcome athletes back to in-person programming, where it makes sense for them. Some specific updates around the process are provided below. 

Registration for fall programming

We won't be hosting an in-person registration day this year, given the current health and safety protocols around social distancing. We don't think it would be safe given the number of people who typically come out in person to register. Registration will be on a sport-by-sport basis as per below. 

Instead, head coaches/team managers will be reaching out to past participants in their club for expressions of interest in returning. Guidelines around RTP, for the most part, limit participation to returning athletes. 

Expression of interest steps (once RTP forms for club have been approved by SOO)

1.     you will receive an email from head coach/team manager asking you if you would like to participate this season (if you previously participated) 

2.     you will respond indicating your interest in participating - please review sport and facility requirements prior to doing so to ensure you can comply 

a.     see further note re requirements/guidelines below 

3.     if # athletes who express interest is greater than program capacity, roster will be determined by lottery, you will be notified prior to lottery if this is the case 

a.     see further note re capacities below 

4.     if you are accepted into program, you'll receive a confirmation email from your head coach/team manager with information on the following: 

a.     reiterating health and safety guidelines, specifically those related to before, during and after practice 

b.     date/time/location of first practice 

c.     cost of program - payment required at first practice 

d.     any additional information re changes to training due to social distancing requirements 

5.     at first practice, you'll sign a declaration and provide payment 

a.     see further note re first practice below 

So far we have been able to kick start this process with Orleans swimming and modified Floor hockey. Past athletes in those programs should have received emails with detailed information on specific sport and facilities guidelines/requirements. We will be in touch with head coaches/team managers of other fall/winter clubs in the next couple days to determine when it might be safe for them to return to programming. Please be patient as we work through RTP on a sport-by-sport basis. If you haven't heard from your head coach/team manager, it means that club is not ready to start back up yet. 

Health and safety requirements/guidelines for RTP

Note that each sport has specific club guidelines as well as guidelines re before, during, and after practice; but we'd like to highlight the following requirement that applies to all clubs: 

· athletes who are unable to follow verbal instructions regarding physical distancing or who require "physical manipulation/hand over hand" instructions to complete drills are recommended to continue with virtual training or general fitness training at this time

Please ensure you only express interest if you're able to follow verbal instructions, can physically distance, don't require physical manipulation, and can comply with any additional sport/facilities requirements. Unfortunately we need to apply any and all requirements/guidelines strictly, and won't be able to accommodate any exception to them. We have asked head coaches/team managers to vet lists after expressions of interest are collected as they should know best whether an athlete can comply with the requirements to ensure health and safety of all involved. 


As an FYI, clubs will have much lower capacities due to health and safety requirements. Because of this, it's possible more sports will go to lottery, but we expect there will also be a number of athletes who won't be returning to in-person programming yet either due to inability to comply with health and safety requirements and/or them not feeling safe to return given their circumstances. Lottery process will be similar to last year. If the final roster will be determined by lottery, athletes who expressed interest will be notified in advance of it happening. 

What to expect at first practice 

You will be asked to sign a covid declaration, and attendance will be taken at first practice and every practice after. You will not be able to participate until you sign the declaration. You will also need to bring payment in the form of cheque, money order, or cash. Please place in sealed envelope with the following information written on the outside: 

· athlete name 

· club 

· method of payment 

· amount of payment 

Your head coach/team manager will collect both the form and payment.


Note that we have reached out to ParaTranspo re service given the requirement to "get in, train, get out." Please let your head coach/team manager know you're worried about being able to show up max 15 minutes before and leave within 15 minutes of the end of practice. 

Also note, as always, all of the above could change if the province or SOO puts out new regulations around social distancing/gathering limits etc. We have to keep in mind that we're still in a fluid environment due to COVID but we're hoping we'll be able to have in-person programming up and running for a while. 

Please don't hesitate to reach out to Lindsay McPhee, Programs or your head coach/team manager if you have any questions on the above, or if anything isn't clear. All of the above is because your health and safety is of the utmost importance to us. We can't wait to welcome you back if it makes sense for you! Stay tuned for more updates around virtual programming and SOO's new tablet program. 


- Your SOO Greater Ottawa Council