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IWRF - Coronavirus (Covid-19) update

26 MAR 2020 17:00
  • Skapad: 26 MAR 2020 17:00

23rd March 2020

Dear Member Nations, friends and colleagues

I hope that you are all keeping safe and dealing with these unprecedented circumstances in the best way possible. For many, it has only been days where we have experienced huge changes, occuring on a daily basis. In terms of how this will impact IWRF events for the remainder of the year, a briefing document follows immediately after my message. 

In particular, reference the recent news that the IOC are evaluating whether the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will be postponed, the IWRF support any initiatives that will safeguard the welfare of our athletes. I will be contacting the eight qualified nations and offer them an opportunity to discuss the situation with me personally. The IWRF need to understand their current situation and how it may impact them over the coming months.  This will help us make informed decisions over the coming days.

If a postponement was to occur, this will impact all of our nations as we look to evaluate our international calendar for 2021. The IWRF have already started considering scenarios and we will consult with the Membership throughout.

We are of course considering how we continue our business. As an organisation we normally operate virtually, so many areas can continue as normal. Our quarterly newsletter, will shortly be released and I will use this opportunity to announce some exciting progressions that we have made in terms of our strategic plan. If you haven't already signed up then subscribe here

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About two weeks ago, I took the decision personally to restrict my movements. I cancelled meetings and reduced the amount of times I left the house. It is only now seven days ago, that I assessed the situation and have now totally isolated myself in the best possible way for my circumstances.

We have many athletes in our game and we are all individuals. Some of us may share similar experiences either personally or through whatever the situation life has thrown us. I speak as an individual who recognises my vulnerabilities. If I was to contract Covid-19, this would be a serious situation for me.

Whilst we are focused on the seriousness of this outbreak, I feel the next challenge will be how we deal with our mental health. Take the time, to read balanced articles that come from trusted sources. The IWRF continue to use the World Health Organisation's advice as well as the now weekly updates from the IPC. All of these links can be found through our social media, or alternatively Google it.

As individuals, reach out to your family using as many of the options available to you, either through the phone or the Internet. I know that our "rugby family" will also be helping each other.

I wish you all the best, stay safe. As a sport and society, we will get through this.

Yours in sport.

Richard Allcroft
IWRF President

 

 

1.                   Overview

As an organisation, the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation (IWRF) is  staying positive that this global crisis can be managed by governments and health organisations. It is also clear that individuals have a huge part to play in how the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) can be reduced. The IWRF continues to take health advice from the World Health Organisation, the International Paralympic Committee and, where appropriate, national governments and other organisations.  Weekly updates will be communicated via the IWRF website and our social media. See bottom of email.

Any individual needing to contact the IWRF should address emails to This is a mailto link. This will enable the IWRF to monitor the situation centrally. If individuals need to contact the IWRF to discuss this matter verbally, a call may be arranged through initial contact by email.

All of the following information will be fully reviewed at the next IWRF Board meeting on the 28 April 2020. However, due to the ever-changing circumstances, the Board will meet before this date should it be required.

Travel for all IWRF Board, staff, volunteers, and technical officials is suspended with immediate effect and will be reviewed in four weeks’ time (week commencing 20 April 2020). This is for travel funded by the IWRF and / or relating to any IWRF sanctioned event. Guidance in relation to national level events is provided in Point 3 below.

Any individual who has travel already planned or has made commitments should contact the IWRF to seek advice on how this can be postponed or cancelled. From today, no individual should make plans for travel to attend any business relating to the IWRF without written permission from the IWRF. 

 

2.                   Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

The IWRF continue to follow the guidance and information that has been received from the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). A statement in relation to the IOC's scenario planning which includes possible postponement, dated 22 March 2020, can be found on the IWRF website

We continue to consult with the IPC in relation to any updates regards this matter.

The IPC and the IWRF are planning for any future site visits and testing to be done remotely until travel is considered safe.

The upcoming Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games Wheelchair Rugby Competition Draw allocates teams to the individual pools and was due to take place within the next few weeks using video technology. Specific details will follow.

Any enquiries about how this may affect individuals at a national level can be raised with the relevant National Paralympic Committee.

 

3.                   National Events and Gatherings

IWRF National Member Organisations must take advice from their respective government and national health organisations in relation to events, training sessions and gatherings. The IWRF urges its Members to consider postponement or cancellation. If an event, training session or large gathering is held for wheelchair rugby players, officials and volunteers they could become exposed to COVID-19. The impact of this virus has to be considered serious, particularly following the unfortunate amount of deaths we have seen globally.

 

4.                   IWRF 2020 Events Calendar

Details regarding upcoming events are shown below. It is crucial that any communication is discussed with the relevant Organising Committee and that they are made aware of any decisions prior to a public announcement. For contact details and information see the IWRF Calendar for details.

All events should take into consideration the IWRF guidance that individuals should not be travelling internationally for any IWRF related activities for the foreseeable future.

i)                    Nordic Cup, Oslo, Norway (1 – 3 May 2020)

Due to the suspension of travel for technical officials, this event will no longer go ahead. The IWRF and the Local Organising Committee will continue to communicate on this matter.

 

ii)                   Canada Cup, Vancouver, Canada (16 – 22 June 2020)

The Canada Cup International Wheelchair Rugby Tournament will not be held as originally scheduled.   The Organizing Committee is currently investigating the possibility of postponing the event to a future date when it is deemed safe for athletes, coaches, officials, and volunteers to travel and to gather.  The Organising Committee sincerely apologise for the impact that this will have on teams that had hoped to attend, however the health and safety of our global community must take priority at this time. 

As this event was the final opportunity for classification prior to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, a clear communication will be sent through to qualified nations providing guidance regarding how this may effect individual athletes’ entries.

 

iii)                  European Championship Division B, Warsaw, Poland (5 – 13 July 2020)

The IWRF President and Technical Delegate have discussed options around postponing this event. Any future date will be determined in consultation with the Organising Committee.  The IWRF Competitions Committee have evaluated that this event can be postponed, and a window of opportunity has been provided in November 2020.

If this event is subsequently cancelled, direction will be provided by the IWRF in relation to any promotion or relegation impacts.

 

iv)                  Americas and Asia Oceania Regional Qualifiers (October / November 2020)

As these events are scheduled to take place in October / November, any decision to cancel or postpone them will be taken at the review in late April.

 

v)                   IWRF General Assembly (October / November 2020)

The two-yearly GA is planned to take place in October or November 2020. Whilst discussions have taken place with potential hosts no firm commitment has been made yet. Therefore, a decision relating to whether the meeting can take place will be communicated to the membership in the upcoming months.

In light of these extenuating circumstances, any postponement of the GA will be communicated to the Membership. An update will be provided after the April review.

 

5.                   IWRF 2021 and 2022 Events

The IWRF hopes that 2021 and beyond will deliver  more certainty and positivity. We will continue to provide up to date information over the next few months indicating  how we can best prepare for the future.

 


 

Please visit the IWRF website and Facebook page for content and updates.

www.IWRF.com

@InternationalWheelchairRugby

Skribent: Magnus Krossén
Epost: This is a mailto link

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