Included in this document are guidelines for Rocky Mountain JackRabbit Ski Club members (RMJRSC) to follow for the upcoming 2021-22 season. These efforts are intended to offer protocols that will ensure that members follow COVID precautions, while enjoying the outdoors this winter doing cross country skiing as a fitness activity. We will contribute to the safety of our members, coaches, executives, parents, and most importantly, our youngest participants aged 5 – 13 years old by following these guidelines to avoid the spread of Covid-19 this ski season.
As a member of Nordiq Alberta, the RMJRSC will be following the Return to Sport guidelines that Nordiq Alberta have developed and shared with organizations, and which can be found at the following location:
This RMJRSC proposal makes use of many of Nordiq Alberta’s graciously shared guidelines, as they pertain to our uniquely spacious outdoor activity of cross country skiing as a family-focused club. We appreciate the use and application of their guidelines and leadership throughout this very critical process.
- Alberta Health Services Measures
Our goal as a club is to apply as many of the AHS guidelines as possible. In addition to families keeping up-to-date on the current Alberta Health requirements, the RMJRSC executive team takes our leadership responsibilities very seriously and will do our best to communicate the following expectations over the course of this season.
- Although wearing masks outdoors is not required, it is recommended that masks be worn when social distancing requirements aren’t able to be maintained. This is most likely during the start and end of each session.
- Hand sanitizer will be used before and after each lesson and at any other time during the activity when hands may become contaminated
- The club will provide club purchased hand sanitizer and wipes for use of outdoor or indoor washrooms where applicable
- When eating snacks, children will be asked to sit 2 metres apart if they are not from the same family
- Participants will not share snacks or drinks from home and no group snacks offered
The club will maintain frequent and clear communication to members throughout the season, starting as early as October. The primary means of communication will be through regular, weekly club emails by our communication executive member. All COVID related updates will be distributed by email, but may also be posted on the club website and discussed directly at club events including in person and/or video meetings.
- All RMJRSC members will have access to Nordiq Alberta’s detailed “Return to Sport” guidelines on our club website found at http://rmjackrabbits.com/
- All participating families will have access to expectations for lessons up front prior to the start of lessons so that they may educate skiers and follow these guidelines
- All coaches will re-familiarize themselves with Nordiq Alberta’s SafeSport policies to ensure that their planning and teaching sessions are run in accordance with current rules and regulations
- Self-Assessment Tool
A self-assessment list will be provided to all club members (attached) and RMJRSC expects that each skier will answer these questions honestly prior to each lesson.
- The club tool will ensure that all members are made aware that if they have come into contact with another individual with a known case of COVID-19, there is a legal requirement to self- isolate for a minimum of 14 days
- Individuals who have known contact with someone suffering from COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms may not attend the RMJRSC lesson that day and are encouraged to contact Health Link for further instructions
- Families will be asked to provide a printed copy of their family self-assessment tool at the time of arrival for each club event. No participant may join a club event without the self-assessment form being submitted.
- Forms that are collected will be confidentially stored for 14 days and then securely destroyed. These forms will serve both as a safety measure and record of attendance in the case of a member developing COVID after participation.
- Location Choice
- According to Nordiq Alberta’s recommendations, locations will be chosen based on both the type of activity being run and the ability for physical distancing guidelines to take place
- When choosing a location, RMJRSC will follow the Nordiq Alberta recommendation to have an alternative location in mind in case our first choice is too crowded
- Executive board members will plan ahead and speak with other clubs in our area to avoid all congregating at the same location
Due to the individual nature of the sport of cross-country skiing and the fact that lessons occur outside during the winter months, physical distancing measures can be more easily implemented.
- Where possible, staggered start times will work from oldest to youngest in areas that are not conducive to social distancing measures
- Coaches will choose a specific spot apart from other groupings to aid in spreading out skiers prior to the lesson
- Parents will be asked to arrive with their children dressed and ready to go to minimize time spent near other families getting into ski gear
- Families who chose to go in to a ski building or warming hut will be reminded to sit apart from one another or sit in family cohorts and not to share food
- Coaches will avoid ‘clumping’ or clustering at ski trail junctions for their lessons or games
- Activities & Equipment
Coaches are teaching a specified ratio of children and will be trained to ensure that their activities allow for social distancing at all times. “Bunnies” are expected to have one parent only in attendance to help support the child all the way through the ski lesson. Older skiers who do not need a parent should not be accompanied in order to reduce congestion and crowding. Our club commits to the following lesson guidelines;
- No team bibs are to be worn
- No sharing of stuffies, equipment, balls
- No relays
- No sharing clothing, hats, mitts
- No sharing poles, skis or other equipment
- Hand washing or sanitizing before and after skiing
- RMJRSC coaches will have access to their own group’s hand sanitizer bottle
- Reasonable efforts will be made to maintain distance between participants while on the ski trails and to avoid crowding with other skiers
- Coaching Zone
The Coaching zone is the immediate vicinity around the area where athletes and coaches congregate. This terminology will be used on the website and when communicating in person with RMJRSC parents in order to educate proper AHS expectations and regulations.
- Participants in the coaching zone must follow guidelines for physical distancing,
- Coaches should consider increasing distances between athletes as speed increases,
- Skiers outside the coaching zone must continue to adhere to physical distancing guidelines,
- Use of masks are expected in the ‘Coaching Zone’, limiting the spread of airborne particles, and
- Maintain a minimum of 2-meters between individuals for non-speed training.
- Personal Hygiene
- Encourage parents to pack personal hand sanitizer to use before, during (if in contact with high-touch zones), and after training,
- Encourage hand washing before and after leaving one’s home,
- Remind younger participants no spitting,
- Remind participants to sneeze or cough into sleeve,
- Use a tissue to blow your nose and discard tissues appropriately immediately after,
- Use hand sanitizer or wash your hands following the use of tissues, and
- Upon completion of a lesson, sanitize hands.
- Avoid ride shares and only travel to/from practice with those in your immediate household or cohort,
- When parking and where possible, leave a cars width between vehicles to allow for physical distancing guidelines to be followed,
- Ask families and coaches to arrive “ready to go” in order to avoid mingling for long periods of time and hanging around, and
- Once the activity is complete, ask members to say good-bye fairly quickly and return home safely.
RMJRSC will be using facilities such as the Canmore Nordic Centre which follows Alberta Health Safety measures.
- Clubhouses and facilities (including but not limited to wax rooms, changerooms, team rooms etc.) are to remain closed until proper sanitization practices can be implemented.
- Appropriate signage at all entrances outlining the physical distancing protocols in place
- Appropriate signage outlining good hand washing and respiratory health measures
- Indoor washrooms are to remain closed at this time
- Social Events
Our club has a history of being a wonderful place for families to socialize and share in physical activities, lessons, loppets and potluck meals during our AGMs, and weekend events. These events are currently on hold, and may be reconsidered in as the season progresses.