Canada’s athletes face increased manpower and facility costs, plus regular testing, when they return to the pool, track, gym and pitch.
The purpose of the $5 million jointly announced Monday by the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic committees and Own The Podium is to cover those extra costs imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The money will come from cutbacks to other programs, COC chief executive officer David Shoemaker said.
“We want to make sure if our athletes across the country are returning to training, that they’re doing so in a way that’s not just safe for them, but is also safe for their families and safe for their communities,” he said on a conference call.
The Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games scheduled to open in July were postponed until 2021.
Canadian athletes, particularly those in indoor sports, have been largely confined to training at home since March, reported The Canada Press.
Paralympic athletes requiring physical assistance to pursue their sport may face extra challenges upon return, according to Canadian Paralympic Committee CEO Karen O’Neill.
“If an athlete needs some care with transfer, how do we look at all elements in that environment to make sure it’s safe and healthy, with equipment transfer either into a chair or a canoe/kayak or a sport chair?” O’Neill asked.