To our valued sport community,
We would like to open by recognizing the tremendous efforts of everyone to continue our work together during this time and navigate the next phase of “return to sport”. We know this is a challenging time for us all, and there are so many members and partners of our community who are stepping up to contribute regardless of their unique and individual circumstances. We also appreciate the leadership efforts of so many in our community who are reframing and restructuring our sport system to be stronger and even more resilient going forward.
Our priority remains the support of our members, athletes and coaches during these unprecedented times.
We continue to be extremely focused and committed to ensuring the health and well-being of our community. This is central to all discussions and decisions being made. This has been our guidepost for many months, starting when we confirmed the Canadian Paralympic Team would not participate if the Games went ahead as planned this summer. These efforts and our commitment will not waver.
We are in the midst of a few special occasions that remind us to continue to support opportunities to return to sport and engage in a responsible manner. This week is National AccessAbility Week, which highlights to us the importance of removing barriers and making sport accessible to all, and celebrating the accomplishments of Canadians with a disability. June is Pride Month, where we will recognize the impact of our LGBTQ+ community and commemorate Pride history. And finally, this coming Saturday (June 6) is National Health and Fitness Day.
And of course, diversity and inclusion are more important than ever. More and more people are waking up to the systemic racism prevalent in our society, and as a sport community we must be leaders in anti-racist behaviours and examining the ways in which we need to be better. Diversity and inclusion means ensuring that everyone has access and support to the same playing field, no matter their background.
If you have not had a chance, please join our new Inclusive Sport Hub Facebook group, and contribute to the conversation. This is a place to actively learn and engage with each other on how to become more inclusive.
Our work at CPC continues to support your leadership efforts. Like yourselves, we are working through the practical reality of our work as a team and continue to look at opportunities to work with you. We are currently completing our revised two-year bridge strategy with a focus on both Tokyo and Beijing and will share the highlights with you soon. Central to this work is the balance between the short term and analytical planning, and the longer term, generative work to be accomplished as we all look at ways and means to reframe our work in sport.
To close, we would like to recognize your leadership and contribution, the COC, OTP and Government of Canada, and of note, a particular recognition of the outstanding work of Dr. Andy Marshall, our CPC Chief Medical Officer and Dr. Mike Wilkinson, the COC Chief Medical Officer. Both individuals have been steadfast in their efforts to support our entire sport community as we navigate the different phases of this pandemic. They both have done so with skill, and a commitment to support each of us throughout this time. Thank you!
President, Canadian Paralympic Committee
CEO, Canadian Paralympic Committee