Fencing Calgary Health & Safety Protocols

We are very excited to welcome fencers back to training AS SOON AS IS SAFE AND POSSIBLE!

As a staff we have been working diligently to implement health-based procedures and guidelines that are BASED ON the Province of Alberta (Chief Medical Officer of Health Orders – Return to Sport, Physical Activity, Recreation – Stage 2), Fencing-Specific Guidelines (Canadian Fencing Federation & Alberta Fencing Association) as well as the Repsol Sport Centre Re-Opening Playbook.

We are closely monitoring developments, policy changes and the above listed public health organizations and will continue to make changes, as necessary.

The guidelines / plan outlined on this page, coupled with personal responsibility, represents our best efforts to keep our participants, families, and staff safe.

(Updated As of 6/17/2020)
Printable Health & Safety Protocols (PDF)

Our organization, under the orders of current Chief Medical Officer of Health, has implemented / will implement the guidelines listed below to:

  • implement practices to minimize the risk of transmission of infection among participants;

  • provide procedures for rapid response if a participant develops symptoms of illness;

  • ensure that participants maintain high levels of sanitation and personal hygiene;

  • comply, to the extent possible, with the COVID-19 General Relaunch Guidance – this guidance, and any other applicable Alberta Health guidance can be found at:

https://www.alberta.ca/biz-connect.aspx.

The Provincial Return to Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation – Stage 2 guidelines and any other information/requirements set by Alberta Health and Alberta Government supersede anything outlined in this document or by our Sport Centre (Repsol Sport Centre), National & Provincial Sport Partners (AFA / CFF).

Families / Participants failing to comply with the items required below are not sanctioned by Calgary Fencing Clubs, Calgary Community Fencing Association, Repsol Sport Centre or the Alberta Fencing Association for activities AND will be restricted in participation. In addition, failure to adhere to the guidelines below; as required by Alberta Health and the Alberta Government, as well as municipal bylaws and facility rules in place to COVID-19 physical distancing and public or private gatherings may result in legal prosecution by the government.

All above governing bodies Return to Play protocol are in effect until further notice unless an Alberta Health or Government Directive supersedes it. The plan will be monitored and reviewed periodically, and changes may be made at such time as deemed necessary.

RETURN-TO-PLAY GUIDELINES

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Flu-Like Symptoms 

Any student, coaching staff, staff or parent that has flu-like symptoms, any symptoms of COVID-19 within the past 14 days, or have had any close contact with someone who is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 in the past 14 days or have traveled outside of Alberta in the past 14 days we ask that you please do not attend class or enter the club. PLEASE STAY AT HOME. We do ask that you contact us (see ‘Stay IContact – below). 

 

*Coaches, parents, family members over 60 years old or those with chronic health issues (including but not limited to) immunosuppression, lung disease, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes) should consider staying at home until further guidance by public health officials. 

 

Pre-Class Daily Self-Screening & Checklist 

Arecommended and outlined by health officials and the Alberta Fencing Association: All participants are required to (with the assistance of parents if under-13) review and complete the Self-Screening Tool PRIOR TO entering the facility or participating in activity. This is to be done EVERY DAY THAT A PARTICIPANT ATTENDS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. Outlined in the document are notes for personal behaviours as a reminder as well as a checklist of symptoms. If an individual answers YES to ANY question – please stay at home and notify the club. If, at any time during the training activities participants begin to exhibit symptoms outlined, or feel unwell, they MUST STOP activity, notify their coach and will be directed accordingly if under-18 – if 18+ they should notify the coach and leave the facility.  

 

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Check-In Procedure / Spectators 

All participants MUST upon arrival at the facility, follow a CHECK-IN PROTOCOL. 1. EACH participant MUST CHECK IN WITH THE COACH when they enter the facility 2. The coach will ask the participant if they answered YES to any of the questions and have the student initial beside the day and time of their cohorts arrival (this serves as additional proof of attendance and meets required participant tracking in the case of infection – students are not required to provide family information as this is already collected by the club and protected under the freedom of information and privacy policies of the club).  

 

Parents may escort their children to the facility and observe the check-in procedure however spectators are NOT PERMITTED within the fencing facility during training times. Parents are asked to follow the policies and guidelines regarding remaining within main facility areas – TBA  

Physical Distance / Hand Shaking 

Although shaking hands at the conclusion of bouts and during training is a cultural norm and rule in the sport – HAND SHAKING IS PROHIBITED DURING STAGE 2 AND UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. A ‘thumbs up’ from the required 2 metre distance will be implemented in replacement of this most important part of our sport.  

 

Physical distancing throughout training will be required and facilitated during activities by the coaches. Students will be reminded during activities and transitions. The average distance of fencing activity both during private lessons and certain conditional bouting is within the 2metre range and will be maintained. During certain vigorous physical training activities, the coach will separate participants with a 3metre range.     

Private Lesson Activity 

Based on fencing-specific recommendation from the National Sport Org. / Provincial Sport Org.; private lessons are a recommended training activity due to limited contact with groups. Private lesson times MUST be booked through the club and are HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for ALL STUDENTS. Private lessons times are staggered to provide the least person to person contact – contact the coaching staff for appropriate times (Zac Morris: coach.morris@prioriepee.com). For the duration of STAGE 2students will remain with one assigned coach for private lessons.  

  

Limited Class Size  

Based on fencing-specific recommendationsthe club has a staggered schedule (by program). Cohorts” will be maintained with all participants (limited size). The same coach(es) will remain with their cohorts. Additionally, during PHASE 2 the club has staggered the time between cohorts.  If anyone in a cohort becomes symptomatic the entire cohort is required to self isolate / quarantine and contact AHS (see below: Positive Infection Protocol). 

 

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Face Coverings / Fencing Masks / Personal Equipment 

All staff and coaches are required to wear a face covering or mask when entering and exiting the club (this includes public areas within or adjacent to, the fencing activity space)When actively fencing or participating in outlined activities, students and coacheSHOULD NOT wear a mask – this is considered an additional health risk by AHS. Masks are optional for students during in-club transition periods. 

Coaches may wear a specialized face covering (produced by Leon Paul Fencing Equipment) under their own protective mask – TBA (students may choose to purchase a specialized under-mask when available) 

FENCING MASKS are NOT considered ‘PROTECTIVE’ in comparison to a recognized face covering and should not be deemed as protective from infection. 

Individual personal fencing equipment is REQUIRED by all participants. Equipment may not be left at any facility. All personal equipment (fencing equipment, water bottle, towels, phone etc.) should be washed / sanitized between all training sessions. Water bottles and towels are ‘personal’ equipment and should NEVER be shared. 

If a participant family does not own personal equipment they are encouraged to purchase these items or rent from the organization. Please contact the coaching staff for information on what is required and how to purchase or rent (coach.morris@prioriepee.com) 

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Hand Washing / Personal Hygiene / Respiratory Etiquette 

Fencers are required (and will be reminded) of the importance of consistent hand washing. Participants should refrain from touching their eyes, nose, mouth, and face while participating or while wearing fencing gloves. Participants are encouraged to exhibit good respiratory etiquette (i.e., sneezing or coughing into the crook of the elbow, no spitting, no clearing of nasal passages, coughing or sneezing into a tissue). It is appropriate and encouraged for participants to carry and use their own personal hand sanitizer. No food of any kind is allowed in the club facility. The use (closure) of public water fountains / bottle re-fill stations fall under the guidelines of the partner facility. Participants should arrive with a full water bottle. 

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Club Cleanliness / Sanitization   

Following the AHS Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting, the club will be cleaned and permanent  equipment will be disinfected between each use. Supplementary (movable) equipment (not absolutely required is stored and not used or routinely sanitized if required). Staff / Coaches will frequently clean and disinfect all frequently touched surfaces (e.g. door handles, reel cord attachments, waiting bench) and equipment at a minimum every 2 hours while the facility is open and in operation. Club cleanliness is also a group effort that involves participants: fencers will be reminded wipe (with provided alcohol wipes) communal reel cords and scoring boxes (if applicable) after use and should use gloved hand to start and stop scoring apparatus. Score keeping will not be done by digital means (count in head) during stage 2.  

 

The Coaches / Staff utilize a comprehensive cleaning checklist prior to, during and after club activity.  

 

Locker Rooms / Restrooms 

Facility locker rooms and restrooms fall under the guidelines of the organizations facility partners (Repsol Sport Centre, community centres, schools etc.). All participants will be briefed and frequently reminded of the individual policies of the facility in use. All participants must be vigilant and respectful of these policies and pay careful attention to posters and signage during the use of these facilities. 

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Stay in Contact with the Coaching / Admin. Staff! 

To conduct the training recommended, and measures implemented within these types of activities, it is important that families maintain contact with the club administration and their coaches. Email communication or text is the best means of contact and will be answered as soon as possible. Coaches may implement cohort-wide updates / mass emails to provide information and updates.   

The following types of activities are being utilized: 

  1. Private lessons 
  1. Physical Training 
  1. Technical Skills 
  1. Conditional Bouts (fencing with specific distance rules) 

*See below for the outline of Fencing-Specific Training Stages 

 

Private Lesson – Contact 

Private lessons are conducted as they offer a reasonable window between lessons to provide ventilation and only involve members of a specific coaches cohort. It is important that participant families make note of their private lesson coaches contact information (email / phone) to maintain contact regarding changes to lesson times and applicable changes. Note: coaches do not check, answer, or return calls / texts during training times.  

 

Limited Class Size  

Based on fencing-specific recommendationsthe club has a staggered schedule (by program) and will maintain “cohorts” with all participants (limited size)The maximum size of cohorts is 9 participants approx. 1 participant per playing surface (30 square metres / person) and 1-2 coach(es). The same coach(es) will remain with their cohorts. Additionally, during PHASE 2 the club has staggered the time between cohorts. The maximum number of people within the facility at any given time (including transitions) is 10. If anyone in a cohort becomes symptomatic the entire cohort is required to self isolate / quarantine and contact AHS. 

 

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Online Registration & Payment 

Please register for your class online. Size limits will be based on guidelines above. If you encounter registration issue, please email. During the registration process in PHASE 2, payment is initially NOT required AND there will be no option available to pay your fees. This process allows the organization to plan appropriate classes based on registrations and elevates the need to issue refunds in case of schedule changesYour fees will be charged to your online payment option of choice at the start of the first confirmed training week.   

For Future Registrations:  FALL REGISTRATIONS ARE REQUIRED FOR ORGANIZATIONAL PURPOSES AS SOON AS POSSIBLE FOR PARTICIPATING ATHLETES – these registrations including recommendations for training, registration and private lessons organization will follow the same procedure as above (no pre-payment – just pre-registration). 

Pre-Registration / Refunds & Credits Related to Stage 2+ 

Upon pre-registering, please note that your families spot has been held – HOWEVER – changes to start time, end time or actual training times may be changed due to a variety of circumstances. As a ‘pre-registered family’ you will be notified as soon as possible and updated of schedule changes.  

 

In the event of large-scale health-related changes/ cancellations to cohorts, programs or training in general (see Positive Infection Protocol below) fee credit will be held for the registered family to be used for future training activities. In the event all training activity or that of an entire cohort is cancelled in its entirety due to COVID-19 a family may request a refund for the balance of missed activities. All other class / training related policy outside of the scope of COVID-19 applies. Private lesson packages are (as usual – non-refundable) however private lesson cards from this or last season will still be accepted at anytime throughout the 2020-2021 season. If you have lost or misplaced your cards from March 15, 2020 through August 31, 2020 please contact the club and we will attempt to credit what was misplaced. Outside this timeline all normal policy applies.  

  

Online Classes  

We are committed to offering fencing training, education, and fitness to our participants in a variety of ways to meet the health, safety, and individual needs of the time. We will continue to provide and improve our online fencing offerings in addition to the more limited in-person classes to accommodate demand for remote instruction. These online resources will remain free of charge for the duration of STAGES 2&3. Please contact us for more information and check the website and your email for upcoming schedules. 

 

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Positive Infection Protocol 

 

In the event of or, at any point, an individual in a cohort / training group is diagnosed with COVID-19 the following measures will be implemented as soon as possible: 

 

  1. The entire group / cohort will be Informed of an anonymous case of infection* 
  1. The appropriate authorities (local public health officer) will be contacted so they may begin contact tracing.  
  1. The full cohort must enter self-isolation for 14 days. 
  1. Should this group include a coach who is also designated to another cohort, every member in those additional training groups must also be informed and enter self-isolation for 14 days. 

 

*To protect privacy and personal health information, communication to the full designated group will only indicate that an incident has occurred, that individuals should self-isolate for 14 days, and to contact health authorities should they experience any unusual symptoms. Those without symptoms within those 14 days may return to training following authorization from their healthcare provider. 

 

Even with the abundance of caution outlined within this document, return to fencing is not without risk. Limiting designated training group sizes, cohorts, modified activities and other measures reduces the number of individuals potentially exposed, while at the same time, is limiting the number that must be isolated in the event of infection. This allows remaining participants to continue training after the club has followed all sanitation guidelines.  

 

It is imperative that athletes and their families take the above outlined measures seriously and act responsibly to allow our participants to return to quality sport activity in a safe manner.