Due to the pandemic, Orienteering Canada’s Board of Directors made the unanimous decision not to send any athletes to WOC, JWOC, and the first World Cup round, as currently scheduled. If any of these events are rescheduled for later in 2021, Orienteering Canada will revisit this decision.
Some athletes had expressed interest in going if they could and we are sorry that those athletes will not be able to compete. However, we feel it is critical that Orienteering Canada play a leadership role within the orienteering community by acting upon our collective responsibility to health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. This means respecting all public health rules and recommendations. To sanction travel for any orienteers would undermine this position.
A lot of discussion took place and it was not an easy decision but ultimately it was made for the following reasons:
- Orienteering Canada feels it is important to adhere to public health measures including limiting travel.
- Orienteering Canada’s insurance is not willing to directly cover Orienteering Canada or its athletes for any COVID-related issues.
- The situation in Canada and in many places around the world is not improving at a rate that looks like it will be reasonable and safe to travel in July. Rather than waiting to get a clearer picture of what travel restrictions will be in the early summer, making this decision now allows us to work on other plans for Team Canada athletes for the season.
- Few athletes had expressed interest in participating in these events. It is therefore hard to justify spending money and energy supporting teams in Europe when those resources can be used to develop the Team Canada Program and support more athletes in other ways.