Posted by Editoress on 01/12/21
Cycling Canada has announced that due to the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic the decision has been made to not send a team to the 2021 UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships, scheduled for April 5th to 9th in Cairo, Egypt.
"Given the health risks involved in international travel and current travel restrictions, we do not believe it is responsible for us to send a team of young athletes to an event where we cannot guarantee their safety," said High Performance Director Kris Westwood. "On top of this, current health restrictions in Canada make it impossible for us to hold selection events to choose a team, or for that team to prepare for the Worlds."
Health authorities in most of Canada - including Ontario and BC, where indoor velodromes are located - have imposed restrictions on group activities, including sports. Elite athletes targeted for the Tokyo Games are currently exempt from some of these restrictions, but Junior-aged riders are not.
While the situation continues to evolve, Cycling Canada's development coaching team is shifting its focus to finding meaningful training, selection and competition opportunities for younger athletes. In the short term, this will mean delivering training camps remotely through online education sessions and workshops, and holding training sessions on virtual platforms like Zwift. This will expand to in-person training camps and competitions later in the year when it is feasible and safe to do so.
"The Junior category only lasts two years, but it's a critical phase in athlete development," said Cycling Canada's NextGen Lead Coach, Jenny Trew. "With the pandemic affecting most of 2021, some athletes may be effectively losing their entire Junior racing career, and we're working hard to help fill that gap."
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