After 10 weeks of life without amateur sport, many people are wondering about the timeline for returning to sports.
I interviewed Alissa Stewart, executive director of the Saskatchewan Cheerleading Association on May 8 and that article was published on May 14. There was so much to discuss that the May 14 article focussed on Alissa’s career in the cheerleading industry, and I knew I would save the other topics we discussed for a separate article.
Alissa explained the role of Provincial Sport Organizations and SaskSport as the province takes steps towards “re-opening.” The SCA is the PSO for the sport of cheerleading. Most other amateur sports also have a non-profit organization that governs the sport within Saskatchewan. Those PSOs follow direction from SaskSport, which is the umbrella organization for all amateur sports.
In the context of COVID-19, all PSOs have been asked to draft documents to describe what their sport might look like in accordance with social distancing requirements, cleaning protocols, etc. From watching the media, we all know that rules and target behaviors are evolving, so there are no firm guidelines since the future is so uncertain.
The SCA executive is writing the proposal for the “return to cheerleading.” Individual cheer gym owners and school coaches are not required to create team specific, or gym-specific proposals. As the provincial government moves through the phases of re-opening, SaskSport will make the request for the PSO’s to submit the proposals for review.
Cheerleading activities are included in Phase 4 of the re-opening plan for Saskatchewan. Phase 3 is currently scheduled to begin on June 8. SaskSport holds weekly meetings with all the PSOs for amateur sport. There is no due date set for the proposals from the PSOs, but all parties are working hard to be ready for Phase 4. SaskSport authorities will need time to review all the PSO proposals and work through an editing process in order to minimize risk for all athletes, coaches, spectators, etc. who would be involved in sports.
At the SCA, “We want our cheerleading clubs to be able to open as soon as the government sets a date for Phase 4.”