Ringette Ontario would like to say thank you to our members for their patience and understanding during this trying time. We know that the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation has led to anxiety, anger and disappointment for our athletes, their families, coaches, officials and volunteers.
Please note that all of our decisions were based on the most up to date information and recommendations from Public Health Ontario (PHO). As experts in the field, we have relied on and been in consultation with PHO throughout the week in assessing the situation for Ringette Ontario. It was this expertise that allowed us to initially make the decision to move forward with our events. We recognized throughout this process that we would have to wait for waiting for further direction from the municipalities and local health agencies.
Minutes before releasing the decision today to cancel all Ringette activities and events starting on March 16, 2020 until further notice, an announcement was made by the Chief Medical Officer of Health in Ontario to immediately cancel all events over 250 people. Immediate action was called for and Ringette Ontario was left with no choice but to include the AA Provincials in those cancellations. This decision was rooted in a ‘safety first’ premise and took into consideration the increasing anxiety being felt by the members of the Ringette family.
We know that teams have been working hard and training all year for these events and we were heartbroken to have to make the choice we did. Please know that we did not made this decision lightly and deeply respect all the hard work and dedication of our volunteers who have poured their hearts and souls into the organization and planning of these events.
Ringette Canada has just released a statement in which they have stated their support of the provincial bodies and have made the difficult decision to immediately suspend all domestic sanctioned ringette activities until further notice. This includes the cancelling of the 2020 Canadian Ringette Championships and the 2019-2020 National Ringette League Activities.
This has been an unprecedented situation with a status that was changing by the hour and Ringette Ontario has done its best to keep up with the constantly changing information. It is with this spirit of teamwork in mind, that we would like to encourage everyone to remain positive and encouraging on digital/social media platforms as they work through discussions and comments regarding COVID-19 as well as Ringette in general.
In the coming days, teams attending the A and U12 events will be contacted with further information regarding reimbursement of team fees, but all teams should also be cancelling their travel plans immediately. We have already advised all hotels of the situation for both events and they are expecting the cancellations. Airlines have already made announcements on cancellation procedures, so please follow what has been outlined with the carriers.
We will continue to update our membership as this situation progresses, so please follow us on social media (@ringetteontario) or sign up for our newsletters (https://ringetteontario.com/contact-ro/) to receive further information.
We would like to say thank you to our hardworking volunteers and event hosts – we are so grateful to each of you as we are to the Ringette Ontario membership.
Thank you to my team and the Board for your hard work and guidance this week and beyond as we continue to negotiate these uncertain times.
Yours in Ringette,