July 23, 2020
Communication Advisory

While health regulations are easing across the province, opening sport in a safe, secure and organized manner continues to be a challenge. Working in conjunction with Special Olympics Canada, Sport and provincial regulators, Special Olympics Ontario (SOO) is developing guidelines and protocols that need to be in place for any and all program activities that would take place in congregated settings.

During the month of August we (SOO) expect to get approval to move forward, which will include staged sport openings for limited activities such as golf. Each and every program, volunteer and athlete will be involved in the process; a very procedural approach. At the same time, we will be organizing orientation sessions to solicit feedback from volunteers, parents and athletes before any formal roll out.

Our plans for Return to Program will include the information, process and procedures for communities, teams, programs, volunteers, athletes and families will be available on our Return to Program Hub at www.specialolympicsontario.com/return-to-program which will launch at 5 PM EDT. on Friday, July 25.

While this is happening, Special Olympics Ontario is directing that all local sport programs, competitions and any related activities remain suspended until September 1, 2020 .

Fundraising activities may be planned and approved by submitting a request to the provincial office through the Return to Program Hub. Health protocols must be followed and athlete participation may not be approved at this time for risk concerns and liability reasons. Email questions to Cody Jansma, Director Business Development at codyj@specialolympicsontario.com    

Special Olympics Ontario is working very closely with Special Olympics Canada and the other provincial and territorial chapters on finding the best way to navigate this challenging situation. It is imperative that certain guidelines and procedures require commonality across the country, always respecting the vulnerable population that we serve and their dedicated coaches and volunteers.
We will continue to monitor and evaluate the status of this pandemic on a month to month basis and we will advise you on or before August 31 st our plans for the fall. Protecting the health and safety of everyone involved is the primary objective, while getting programs operational in some form. Please stay informed by going to our website www.specialolympicsontario.com for the latest updates.
Should you have any questions or would like to speak with a staff person about the pandemic please email covid19@specialolympicsontario.com or call 1-888-333-5515 ext. 311 and leave a message and we will follow up. 

Stay safe everyone!

Thank you for your understanding,
Glenn MacDonell
President & CEO

cc: Special Olympics Board of Directors
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