A model for return to training and competition during ongoing pandemic concerns
Keywords:COVID-19, pandemic, coaching, training
In the wake of a novel Coronavirus, the sports world reeled from the realization that a pandemic of this magnitude had not been seen in more than a century. Reducing the transmission would require physical distancing to such a degree that it would necessitate the suspension of all sporting activities. The multidimensional health effects due to COVID-19 will be far more severe and prolonged if athletes cannot engage in sport at all. Most coaches are concerned with strength and conditioning maintenance as well as technical skill development in response to changes in the sport. Bringing athletes together to train while adhering to government-mandated protective measures, such as facemask use and physical distancing, proved to be a herculean task. The challenge for all sports is how to train in the setting of the new physical distancing required for a healthy community. Sail Canada ran a nine-day training camp and regatta utilizing the knowledge of a team of medical experts to adhere to the government-mandated restrictions without significantly compromising the athletic preparation. The event was a great success and could stand as a model for other sports to maintain training while still protecting the health and wellness of athletes, coaches, and officials.