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To:	Hon. Tyler Shandro,  Hon. Doug Schwitzer,  Hon. Leela Aheer

From:	[Your name]

	[Your organization]

Date:	[Send Date]

Re:	Reopening Endurance Sports in Alberta

Honourable Ministers and MLAs,

I work in endurance sports and I am deeply concerned about the collapse of our industry. The endurance sports industry was one of the first to close and a blanket restriction on gatherings means that it will also be the last to reopen. These events are not eligible for many of the grants out there, so they are some of the worst economic casualties of the pandemic. We have seen many businesses, like ski resorts, shopping malls, and big box stores successfully operate with restrictions, even at the height of the pandemic, and I know that together, our industry can resume with near-normal attendance. Outdoor running, cycling, triathlon, and obstacle course events can be done safely and responsibly. Simply put, it is not feasible to host events for a few dozen people at at time and we are looking for solutions to plan for some semblance of a regular season. Time is running out to plan for spring and summer. 

On January 29, 2021, stakeholders from the endurance sports industry in Alberta submitted a relaunch plan to Minister Shandro, Minister Schwitzer, Minister Savage, and numerous MLAs; I encourage you to seriously consider the efforts they are making to be able to put on safe events this year. Globally, there have been almost no cases of Covid-19 transmission related to the endurance sports industry, and I believe that these activities can be enjoyed safely. You can also download the plan if you need a copy.

Economically, at a national level, the endurance sports industry brings approximately $1-billion to the Canadian economy and another $500-million to non-profit organizations. Most of these organizations have seen close to a 100% loss of revenue, while the financial supports available do not cover the cost of keeping the doors open. After losing an entire year of revenue in 2020, event organizers are now paralyzed in their planning processes for 2021. An estimated 65% of event organizers will go out of business in the coming months if they are not able to return to work. This will, in turn, mean the loss of thousands of jobs, the loss of community programs that are created by non-profit organizations, and a financial loss to many municipalities that rely on the distinct boost provided by these events. In some small communities, the economic impact is several million dollars per year.

Endurance sports play an essential role in the mental and physical health of Albertans. These events become goals for individuals from every level of ability; they give both novice and professional competitors a reason to participate in physical activity. These events provide a grass-roots community support network for people to improve their physical health. It is widely accepted by public health professionals that physical activity is an important component in maintaining mental health by providing an outlet for stress and anxiety. The worry and uncertainty caused by the pandemic amplify the need for mental health supports. A decline in either the mental and physical health of Albertans will be costly for the province to manage long-term.

I believe that my organization deserves the same opportunity to operate that has been given to other businesses such as ski resorts, shopping malls, and big box stores. Please consider my request for reopening our industry.


Kindest regards,

[Your Name]

[Organization Name]