Hello everyone,

Firstly the Athletes Committee hope that you are all as well as can be expected in these difficult and testing times we are currently living in. As a committee we wanted to give you an update on what we have been doing to support you all and also some ideas on how we want to continue to support you moving forward in these uncertain times.

For the last two weeks as chair of the committee I have been in ongoing discussions with the IOC and IPC athletes commissions, I have also been in discussions with the Athletes Rights and Responsibilities Declaration Committee to ensure that we are up to date with the information on the coronavirus and the impact that it is having on our training environments and the more pressing issue of the Tokyo Games.

At this stage I want to make clear that although a lot of the discussions have been about the Games, we are here to support all athletes across the canoeing world and not just the Olympic disciplines.

I have also been in regular contact with the vice president of the ICF to ensure that we are kept up to date with their views and actions. They are working hard on your behalf to ensure a fair and safe training and competition environment.

The rest of the committee have been working closely with their disciplines and their national federations to ensure that we are aware of changes. After our call yesterday we have agreed that we will be having a call on a weekly basis to continue to manage and assist you all where we can.

You will have seen the recent press release from the IOC and IPC that the Games have now been postponed. As a committee we are pleased with the decision and we hope that this will now give you all the comfort you needed to focus on looking after yourselves and your families, to stay home and all do what we can to assist everyone involved in containing this virus. This is now beyond sport and we must consider our health and well-being as paramount.

I know there will be lots of questions about events for all disciplines for the rest of this year and qualification for Games. I ask that you try not to discuss or seek speculative opinions and be confident that the IOC, the IPC and the ICF will make sure that the future is fair and safe for all of the athletes across the world.

We will keep you updated on any progress as soon as we have it. In the meantime we feel that your welfare is our primary focus. As a committee we will be sending out a survey shortly on welfare and we will also start to post some content on our facebook page and the ICF website of things that we feel may help you all while we are confined to our homes. Your mental health is key at this time and we want to help you with anything we can.

If you have any questions at all then please feel free to email me on athletes@canoeicf.com and as a committee we will do all we can to help.

Take care, stay safe, keep your distance and STAY AT HOME.

Tim Lodge - ICF Athlete Committee Chair