With the fast-changing sport landscape affected by the COVID-19 it is important to adjust and adapt to the daily changes affecting all of us, and of course more specifically affecting the sports community especially the athletes.
- The postponement of the Canadian ParaTT Championships (21-22 March).
- The provisional rescheduling of the World Table Tennis Championships from March to a new provisional date in June 2020.
- The postponement of the Canadian Junior and Senior Championships, which were scheduled for early July 2020 in Burnaby, B.C.
- The closure of TT clubs across the country as a result of decisions made by all levels of government.
- The return to Canada of our athletes from international competitions, training or clubs to respect the advisory from the medical teams of the Canadian Sports leaderships (CAC, CPC, OTP, etc.).
- The cancellation of group activities, training and tournaments by provincial and territorial TT associations respecting the advisories from their respective provincial and territorial governments.
- The cancellation of the 2020 Arctic Winter Games.
- The rescheduling to the summer of 2021 of the Olympic Games (24 July to 9 August) and Paralympic Games (25 August to 6 September.
To each of the above changes there is a positive and “best scenario” solution. The trick is not to rush in deciding the best solutions for the challenges we face. We must examine each issue taking into consideration all concerned at all levels. The provincial/territorial calendar of events, the national calendar and the international calendars are all connected, and any change has an effect at all levels.
The TTCAN Board of Directors, the provincial/territorial associations, our Committees and our professional staff will all be consulted and will have a direct input in the adjusted schedule and plans.
One of the most important decisions is the rescheduling of the Canadian Championships (Junior, Senior and Para). We must not only find dates for the 2020 editions, but we must also be very careful in the selection of the dates for 2021 editions.
We should very soon receive the final dates for the World Table Tennis Championships. Even though they were provisionally rescheduled for June 2020, they will probably be rescheduled again for a later date. This of course will affect the new National Team program and schedule.
Our High-Performance Consultant will present an adjusted National Team plan and budget to the Board of Directors for approval. We will seek the same for the ParaTT Program and budget.
In the meantime, our Coaching Certification Consultant is finding new ways, with the cooperation of the Coaching Association of Canada, in delivering courses and conducting evaluations through electronic means.
As the implications and consequences of each change are being studied, we will keep all concerned informed and as soon as any decision is made it will be immediately announced.
As President of TTCAN, my main concern is the wellbeing of our athletes and the financial impact on coaches (full-time and part-time). I heard that some clients have booked private coaching sessions in advance with coaches in order to help financially. This is very considerate, and I hope that other solutions are found to keep our coaches from suffering great financial losses. I also hope that all our professionals across the country working for provincial associations are not too affected by the slowdowns, and that in fact they take advantage of this period to catch up with administrative work, planning, updating policies, and planning of fund raising events for when matters are restored to normal.
For our athletes, I hope that you can find creative ways to practice and stay in good shape. This is a good opportunity to improve your physical condition, footwork, shadow training, reflex training, etc. We are one of the few sports that could be practiced at home. Those that have tables at home could take this opportunity to improve and perfect their “service” (spin variation, position, speed variation, etc.). We are also a unique sport, as rallies or training sequences can be reproduced with motor-ball (multi-ball). For those fortunate enough to have a table and a robot, the solution is simple for daily high intensity training. For those with a table but without a robot, involve a family member to feed balls, even without a racket, and create footwork exercises, technical exercises, etc.
On behalf of our Board of Directors, I wish that you all remain safe and in good health.
President – TTCAN