This past week, Hockey Manitoba announced the release of the seventh version of its updated Return to Play Plan.
Included are topics surrounding the provincial changes that went into effect within Manitoba based on the updated Public Health Order back on August 7. With a 50 percent capacity limit on spectators, all indoor group activities (including hockey) can occur with no capacity limit on participants. This means games, practices and tournaments have all be given the green light for the 2021-22 hockey season.
From Hockey Manitoba:
Hockey Manitoba is excited for a safe return to play for the 2021 – 2022 season, however our organization remains extremely cautious and responsible in managing our Return to Play (RTP) plan for the upcoming season. We continue to work closely with Hockey Canada, Sport Manitoba, and the Manitoba Provincial Health Authorities to develop and maintain a RTP plan that will allow the best opportunity for our members to play the game in a safe, healthy, and structured environment.
As the Provincial Sport Organization (PSO) for the largest and highest funded sport in our Province, Hockey Manitoba has a tremendous responsibility to not only our own members but to also serve as a leader for the entire sporting community. One of the greatest strengths of our organization is our governance structure and the tireless commitment of our entire volunteer base, which is essential in the ongoing delivery and management of our game.
We have high expectations for all the volunteers associated with the game of hockey who have collectively welcomed and embraced the tremendous challenges that have accompanied COVID-19 and the impact it will have in the responsible reintroduction of the game of hockey to our membership.
Ownership is a key phrase and without our entire membership accepting responsibility, accountability, and ownership of the RTP plan by buying in, it will be difficult to fully and properly execute our RTP document. This is a significant responsibility but one that Hockey Manitoba respects and treats seriously, however we will require the support, compliance, and leadership of everyone associated with the management of the game to be able to comfortably deliver.
Hockey will be returning but please do not underestimate the importance of compliance, accepting the new normal, and the steps we will all be required to implement to apply extra layers of safety for our members. Your commitment, guidance, and leadership are appreciated as we collectively work together in the safe return to hockey.