Athletics Ontario Advises Clubs to Consider Alternative Training Methods

As announced yesterday, effective Thursday, January 14, 2021at 12:01 a.m., the government is issuing a stay-at-home order requiring everyone to remain at home with exceptions for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for essential work.

At this time, Athletics Ontario is recommending that clubs consider alternative methods to outdoor group training (ex. virtual, or on an individual basis following a provided training schedule).

AO recognizes that the Government of Ontario has deemed exercise as an essential purpose, and that many clubs will wish to continue group training outdoors. In these circumstances, outdoor group training can take place for AO members if the following guidelines are strictly adhered to:

    • This number includes coaches (ex. 4 athletes, 1 coach)
  • Members are required to respect all guidelines specific to each outdoor location, and all facility closures

While exercise is deemed essential, clubs choosing to continue outdoor group training must ensure that they are providing the safest environment possible for members who choose to participate. We advise that clubs include athletes and their families in the decision making process of whether or not to continue outdoor group training.

Every individual has a responsibility to evaluate their own comfort level and use their discretion to make a personal decision if they want to participate or not. Each individual’s personal comfort level should dictate their behaviour, providing it’s within government guidelines.

UPDATE: January 14

Indoor training up to this point has only been available for high performance athletes recognized by Athletics Canada. We have confirmed with our consultant at the ministry of sport that these athletes are still deemed eligible to train indoors and can continue as per the previous restrictions. The new restrictions will NOT impact the current training guidelines for these athletes.

Updates will be continuously communicated as they become available.

For more information, please review the Ontario Government’s Rules for Areas in Stage 1.


Additional advisement found at:

Why can people still gather in groups of five outdoors?

The province said the outdoor gathering limit of five is in recognition of the fact that some people live alone and may require the company or support of others for their mental and physical well-being. People gathering outside are expected to adhere to physical distancing measures and are being strongly urged to wear a mask.

Can people leave home to exercise? Can I go to my local playground or basketball court?

Yes, exercise is considered an essential reason for leaving your home. What that means will be unique to each individual Ontarian, the government said. “Some may wish to go for a walk around the block, while others may wish to go to a local basketball court with their household to shoot some hoops.”

Ontarians are recommended to consult their local public health unit or municipality to understand what recreational amenities are open in their community.

Can I go outside for a walk or go skating at a public rink?

Going outside for exercise is permitted, including walking your dog, running and ice skating at a public rink. However, the government says it prefers if residents would remain home.

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