ADD YOUR VOICE TO SAVE ALBERTA ENDURANCE RACES

RACE DIRECTORS

You are the voice of the endurance sports industry. We all need to work together to make sure that policymakers understand that we can operate safely.

Endurance races are barely visible on the government’s radar, so more than anything, we need your voice. Our goal is to let provincial leaders know that endurance sports are meaningful and important to Albertans. If they don’t know these events are important to you, they will be dismissed in policy decisions. 

GET INVOLVED – SHARE YOUR STORY

  1. Review the Case for Reopening (below).
  2. Pledge to follow the Principles of a Covid-Secure Event that we have developed for endurance races. This will likely change over time as it is reviewed by more and more industry professionals, but it has been thoroughly scrutinized.
  3. Write a positive letter to your MLA and the Government of Alberta explaing how you can reopen safely. Copy and paste this prepared letter, write your own, or modify the existing text to include anything that is important to you. Make sure to UPDATE the information in BRACKETS to match your specific details. Consider adding:
    • Include any case Studies about your event showing the economic impact
    • Describe the financial loss to your organization (in rough terms or percentages) - both gross revenue and net losses are meaningful
    • Attach the Alberta Endurance Sports Relaunch Plan and pledge to follow best practices that it describes
  4. Find your MLA on this list. Also consider sending to the appropriate ministers, such as:
    • Hon. Tyler Shandro, the Minister of Health, Hon. Doug Schwitzer, the Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation, Hon. Leela Aheer, Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism, and Status of Women
      • health.minister@gov.ab.ca, edt.ministeroffice@gov.ab.ca, culturetourism.minister@gov.ab.ca
  5. Send your letter by email or post. CC us if you can.
  6. Stay informed by signing up for our Facebook Group.
  7. Share your story and our website on social media using the hashtags #SaveOurSeason #SaveAlbertaRaces 
  8. Also join the Canadian Endurance Sports Alliance (CESA), which operates on a national level.

THE CASE FOR REOPENING

Take a look at the Alberta Endurance Sports Relaunch Plan that shows the fundamentals behind why we should be able to operate.

By following the guidelines laid out in Principles of a Covid-Secure Event, we believe that the endurance sports industry can resume operations with a close to normal numbers of competitors. After nearly a year of Covid-19 restrictions, the Government of Alberta’s data supports allowing these events to continue while using the basic precautions exercised in many other industries. If restrictions are to continue long-term, it is imperative that the government allow low-risk industries to work to their capacity, with safety measures in place. Not doing so will mean the collapse of these organizations. Members of our industry request that we are shown the same consideration given to other businesses that have been able to remain open.

Many large businesses and organizations have shown that it is possible to remain open, with precautions in place, and not be a significant contributor to Covid-19 cases. Some examples include:

These businesses and organizations have all demonstrated that it is possible to continue operations with normal or near-normal attendance by adopting basic safety principles and procedures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Statistically, the instances of transmission related to both outdoor activity and outdoor, non-contact sports have been negligible. Our research, shown later in this document, concludes that there have been virtually no cases of outdoor transmission anywhere in Canada, and further global case studies have confirmed that outdoor endurance events are not a significant factor in transmission. One study from the Japan Association of Athletic Federations showed only one case of transmission amongst 621,718 athletes and 110,355 staff between July and October of 2020 (page 7). Internationally, we have looked at both transmission rates and best practices at competitions; with basic precautions in place, the rate of transmission between competitors is negligible. A further study out of China shows one case of outdoor transmission out of 7,324 total reported cases from the sample group examined. Other examples of low transmission rates are available in the linked document, Outdoor Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and Other Respiratory Viruses: A Systematic Review (see Relaunch Plan).

The government of Alberta has stressed repeatedly that the primary source of transmission is close personal contact. At the same time, outdoor activities have not been shown to be a significant contributing factor by any current research. Under current guidelines, as interpreted by AHS Inspectors in different jurisdictions, endurance sports fall both under the “recreation” and “gatherings” restrictions. These events are not, however, the same as either social gatherings and team or contact sports. Key factors include the following: Endurance events are not social gatherings as described in the current guidelines. While there can be a social component, it is not the purpose of the event and it can be managed as it would in any other setting. During endurance events, competitors naturally distance themselves; they do not typically run or cycle in close proximity to other competitors. Close contact is not required and is easily discouraged through appropriate messaging and staging. The events are outdoors. There is typically an indoor component around registration/check-in, but this can be managed with safety precautions such as those enacted in any store or shop. Event capacity is controlled based on pre-registration. Due to pre-registration, events also have built-in contact tracing; the organizer has information for registered participants and volunteers. Gathering points, such as water stations, can be eliminated or restricted in capacity to ensure that competitors do not linger and that they maintain physical distancing.

As industry professionals, we believe it is practical to resume outdoor endurance events, at near-normal attendance levels, with specific safety precautions in place. After close to a year of Covid-19 measures, we now have a greater body of data that should allow the Government of Alberta to begin segmenting by industry and activity type, instead of implementing blanket restrictions that cover broad sectors.

The guidelines for event directors will change with growing public immunity, the proliferation of vaccines, rapid testing, and improved treatments as they evolve.

 

Alberta Ultra Racing Association
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