CRNZ has spent a considerable amount of time evaluating the current risk of travel against the potential of athletes to perform or qualify an Olympic/Paralympic quota spot at the ICF World Cup 1, 2, Olympic Qualifier and Paralympic Qualifier in May.
We have evaluated each event in their own right. In particular, we have looked closely at:
· – The risk of catching Covid-19, and its effects on both health and future athletic performance;
· – NZ Government advice (currently “do not travel”);
· – Current Covid-19 transmission rates at the two World Cup locations (Barnaul, Russia and Szeged, Hungary);
· – Current Covid-19 transmission rates at air transit hubs;
· – The likelihood of becoming infected in transit to-and from the World Cups (in airplanes and domestic ground travel);
· – Robustness of safety plans at the events, and likelihood of compliance with those plans;
· – Availability of satisfactory healthcare if team members become ill or injured (many countries’ health systems are currently overwhelmed with Covid cases and therefore less able to treat other illnesses);
· – Availability and cost of MIQ places on return home;
· – Possibility of quick return home in case of illness or emergency (MIQ facilities are limited and the government has advised that they will not give special treatment to athletes, and if team members test positive for Covid-19 they will be unable to return home until returning a negative test);
· – CRNZ’s responsibility and duty of care for athletes, coaches and support staff who travel (CRNZ is a PCBU under NZ health and safety legislation, so is legally responsible for our people’s health and safety);
· – The effect on a group if one member tests positive (likely that the whole group would have to quarantine and could not travel home, and/or crew boats would be unable to compete);
· – Availability and cost of insurance.
· – Current performance data of athletes and historical performance benchmarks that would qualify a Olympic/Paralympic quota spot.
· – Duration of stay in Europe.
· – Athletes’ wellbeing and development and the negative effect of not competing at the events.
We have considered the following groups of athletes that may have chosen to attend the events as described above.
· Athletes that may use the event(s) as a warm-up competition to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics/Paralympics.
· Athletes that may use the event(s) as a development opportunity.
· Athletes that may choose to contest the Olympic qualifier in the MK1 1000 and MK1 200.
· Athletes that may choose to contest the Paralympic qualifier.
CRNZ has decided to not send any athletes to the ICF World Cup 1, 2 or Olympic Qualifier in May. We have spent a considerable amount of time evaluating the current risk of travel against the potential to perform or qualify any additional Olympic quota spots. We have not taken this decision lightly, but believe that in these exceptional circumstances we cannot responsibly take any other approach.
CRNZ is consistently reviewing how we can best support our paddlers and their development in kayaking. As such, we will make a decision on whether to send a team to Junior/u23 World Championships in early April and the Canoe Sprint World Championships in early June, based on the current global situation at that time. However, even if we elect not to travel overseas for these events, we still intend to select teams. The purpose of this would be to recognise our top paddlers and to provide development opportunities to these athletes.
Senior and U23 World Champs K1 Trials
Sprint Nationals is the key milestone in CRNZ’s Selection Policies for K1 events. Because Nationals had to be postponed due to Covid-19 alert level changes, we have to amend our policies and schedule new K1 trials.
After considering a number of options, CRNZ believes that the most fair way to proceed is to re-schedule the K1 trials at the new date of National Champs. This decision was made easier by our decision not to attend World Cups. We have amended our policies to this effect.
Junior Selection Policies
Nationals is also a key milestone for our junior athletes, both as a point of entry into our pathway squads and as part of the Selection Policy for Junior Worlds.
The Junior Selection Policies have been amended to reflect the new date of National Champs. As such, Nationals will be the first event in selection, followed by a crew trial camp on the 26-30 May.
Updated World Championship selection policy here
Updated World U23 Championship selection policy here
Updated World Junior Championship selection policy here
Note, the application date for those who wish to be considered for World Junior selection has been extended to May 2.
Application form here