Dear OFA members,
The recent announcement made by the province of Ontario on May 14, 2020 lists fencing as a “sport that can be played under physical distancing measures” – this is an incorrect assessment.
The OFA understands that clubs and members are eager to restart, but emphasizes that this must be done slowly, safely, and in a way that does not increase the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In line with other sports in the same announcement (Gymnastics, Badminton, Figure Skating, Track & Field), the OFA does not recommend any clubs to reopen at this time.
Further direction will be provided by May 29, 2020, regarding clubs potentially opening in a limited fashion on June 1, 2020. Any club who chooses to reopen before then will be doing so without OFA sanction, will not have access to the OFA insurance policy, and may lose their status as a club in good standing.
The OFA reminds that all clubs and members must also adhere to the Quarantine Act (Canada), the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (Ontario), as well as municipal bylaws and facility rules in place to COVID-19 physical distancing and public or private gatherings. Failure to abide by these federal, provincial, or municipal requirements may result in legal prosecution by the government.
The OFA Medical & Health Committee, consisting of several qualified COVID-19 response team members, is developing a Return to Play Protocol that prioritizes the safety of our members, and follows current information published both by Ontario Public Health as well as the MHSTCI. This will be published as soon as it has been approved.
In the interim, the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario has shared a preliminary Risk Assessment Tool for Sport document. Please urge your club administrators to use this for an initial assessment of your club’s risk status, as well as to plan a return to play at the club that prioritizes member safety.
While at home, the OFA encourages all members to join the virtual Strength & Conditioning, as well as Footwork classes provided by the OFA to stay fit while we stay at home. All classes are free to OFA members and family, so register today!
Stay safe and healthy!