COVID-19 updates for sport organizations

Jul 20, 2020

July 20, 2020

The provincial government has released a new online application for temporary layoffs, that simplifies and streamlines the process for employers and workers to jointly apply for an extension beyond August 30. Read more here.

July 6, 2020

For information, updates and resource on return to sport in B.C., please visit our Return to Sport page.

May 14, 2020, 1 p.m.

viaSport has consolidated Frequently Asked Questions around return to sport in B.C.

May 13, 2020, 12 p.m.

The Provincial Government has release a checklist that businesses and organizations should consult while planning for reopening to ensure they are safely operating and reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

May 8, 2020, 10 a.m.

The Government of Canada has annouced its next steps for the Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations. The distribution of funding will include $72 million to the Canadian sport sector. Read the release.

May 5, 2020, 2 p.m.

The Government of B.C. has extended the temporary layoff period during COVID-19. Read the release.

April 24, 2020, 1 p.m.

The Coaching Association of Canada has released a memo outlining additional information to maintain safety in sport, specifically the Rule of Two in online training environments.

April 23, 2020 2 p.m.

To support coaches during this time, we have assembled a list of coaching resources and education opportunities available here.

April 22, 2020, 3 p.m.

The Province of B.C. has issued a temporary change to the legislation on electronic meetings for societies, corporations and co-operatives. During the provincial state of emergency, organizations can now hold official special or annual general meetings online or by phone. Read more.

Our auditor PwC has provided link to view all key government announcements regarding the impact of COVID-19 on businesses here. Access their webcast hub for more resources on what business leaders, including non-profits, need to know during COVID-19.

The Sport Law & Strategy Group offers some very helpful considerations for how to maintain safe training environments at home for participants and coaches. Read the post here.

April 7, 2020, 10 a.m.

The Sport Law & Strategy Group has written a blog post detailing important things to know if you’replanning to host a virtual AGM.

April 6, 2020, 2 p.m.

The COVID-19 Supply Hub is a made-in-B.C. online platform to co-ordinate, source and expedite medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) for provincial health authorities to support front-line health workers fighting COVID-19. 

Consult a real time list of the types and specifications of critical medical supplies the Provincial Health Services Authority needs for front-line workers. Businesses and organizations can then submit a proposal or donate supplies through an easy to use form.

April 2, 2020, 2 p.m.

We have received a number of questions about virtual coaching, please see below for more information.

Q- Can athletes and coaches practice in a virtual environment? 

A- Coaches should check with their sport organization on any limitation that may be within their existing insurance policy.  All interactions between athletes and coaches should uphold current B.C. Ministry of Health guidelines around isolation and social distancing.  Any practices with a group of athletes should NOT be delivered until restrictions are lifted.  Further guidelines for athlete training or virtual practices can be found on the CSI Pacific Website with specific reference to Own the Podium’s Sport Medicine Advisory Committee. The OTP guidelines suggest that practices or training should NOT be aimed any specific performance gain, or pushing athlete to over-reach physical abilities that would lead to a compromised immune system. The OTP advisory updates guidelines weekly and strongly recommend to reduce training regimens, and instead exercise moderately in isolation from others to maintain general health, work on stability, core strength, fundamental movement quality, and so on.

April 1, 2020, 2 p.m.

In an effort to support the amateur sport sector in B.C., the provincial government will be fast-tracking 2020-2021payments to funded sport organizations. Read the release.

March 26, 2020, 12 p.m.

viaSport has put together a number of resources on our website in an effort to best support the sector during this time:

March 25, 2020 12 p.m.

March 24, 2020, 2 p.m.

The International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo 2020 Organzing Committee have decided that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021. View their joint statement.

March 23, 2020, 10 a.m.

See a statement of support from CSI Pacific for Team Canada in their decision to not send Canadian athletes to the Tokyo 2020 games. 

March 19, 2020, 10 a.m.

The Province of B.C. has launched new resources to help British Columbians stay informed around COVID-19:

March 18, 2020, 1:30 p.m.

The British Columbia government has declared a provincial state of emergency to support the provincewide response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The state of emergency is initially in effect for 14 days, once issued, and may be extended or rescinded as necessary. Read more.

Read the Federal Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses here.

March 17, 2020, 4:00 p.m.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has announced a public health emergency in B.C. amid the COVID-19 pandemic. To focus efforts on containment of COVID-19 in British Columbia, public health officials have implemented the following measures:

For everyone:

  • The B.C. Ministry of Health has developed a self-assessment tool to help individuals to determine whether they may need further assessment or testing for COVID-19. The Ministry of Health notes this can be a self-assessment, or it can be completed on behalf of someone else.

For sport organizations:

  • Event cancellations: Event organizers are now required to cancel any gathering with more than 50 people. For gatherings under 50 people, see the Public Health Agency of Canada’s “Risk Informed Decision Making” tool. Events under 50 people that cannot maintain social distancing should be cancelled. Decisions to cancel events should also include an assessment on the event’s overall viability if attendance is reduced. We encourage you to keep public health and safety in mind at this time. If your event is postponed or cancelled, please take efforts to notify attendees/participants by email, or by posting updates on your website and social media.
  • Workplace recommendations: Workplaces should consider social distancing measures. View up-to-date information for businesses and employers from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control here.
  • Non-essential travel: Federal authorities have indicated that Canadians are to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada, including the United States. Canadians and permanent residents currently outside the country should make plans to return home immediately.
  • Return from travel protocol: For those returning to Canada after international travel, including the U.S., it is currently requested that they self-isolate for 14 days. See guidelines and more information on self-isolation and monitoring here.

For participants, athletes, parents, fans and volunteers:

  • Current information on event cancellations:  For specific sport sector event status, please visit the sport organization’s website, or the event website, for the most up-to-date status of events and programming as things are shifting daily.
  • Recreation centres: Please visit your local municipal web and social media sites to stay up to date on closures of recreation centres, ice rink and pools. The B.C. Recreation and Park Association website also has a COVID-19 updates page.
  • School sports: At this time school sports competitions remain at the discretion of the school and school district. Please contact your school coach or Athletic Director for the most up to date information. Also, updates can be found at B.C. School Sports.
  • Community responsibility: Please take care of yourselves and your communities. Shop responsibly to ensure supplies are plentiful and available for all of those who need them. Check in on your neighbours, teammates and family members, while working to practice social distancing.

For up-to date information on the developing COVID-19 situation, please visit the BC Centre for Disease Control. If you have any questions, please see the Centre’s common questions page.

As always, please direct your sport sector-related questions and suggestions to


March 4, 2020

This joint message is from the Sport Medicine Advisory Committee comprised of Chief Medical Officers from the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Canadian Paralympic Committee, and the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network (COPSIN). It is meant to guide Sporting Organizations in decision-making with respect to travel to competitions within and outside Canada. 

Read more on prevention, treatment and travel guidelines for athletes and coaches, related to COVID-19.

For athletes travelling for sport tournaments simply follow the standard precautions below to ensure that you remain healthy and ready to perform. With recent events such as the (COVID-19) Coronavirus being top of mind, this is a reminder to take the regular preventative measures to stopping the spread of any common respiratory virus.

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes or mouth before washing your hands
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces
  • Avoid sharing food, drinks, utensils, straws

The risk to British Columbians in terms of the Corona virus remains very low. Event organizers are encouraged to review the Destination BC material and ensure their host committee and/or event medical officers are in contact with their respective Health Authority for updates.

Additional resource from Health Link BC