A successful path to safe racing in a world shaped by COVID-19
As the northern hemisphere winter season approached, athletes weren’t sure if the season was going to go forward, despite the best efforts of the IBSF to keep us up to date on the plans for the season. It’s a challenging environment where global goalposts continually shift.
With all the planning now behind us and athletes having left their warm Australian homes for the cooler European winter, and racing for the 2020/2021 season has begun, there is no question how grateful the athletes are for all the behind the scene planning efforts of the IBSF and event organisers.
“Back in the spring and summer, we never believed that we would be able to race, but the IBSF made it possible and we are super happy about that.”
Women’s Bobsleigh - Team Germany
To get the 2020/2021 season kicked off and to ensure all athletes and officials remain safe and healthy, things are looking a little different around the track. With the first race of the World Cup season now behind us, we thought we’d explore the ways athletes, officials, and organisers are being kept safe.
There are a number of Hygiene Officers on tour for the first time, including an IBSF Officer, a local event organiser Officer, and each National Team will also have their own Officer. The role of the Hygiene Officers is to monitor the daily health and symptoms of every athlete, official, organiser, and volunteer involved in each tour event.
Health Screening and Testing
The IBSF has implemented a testing procedure where athletes, officials, and organisers begin testing prior to arrival at any venue. Before arriving on tour, team members must produce a negative test before entering the race-series. Each Monday upon arriving at each event, an ‘in event’ test is performed whilst during every event each team member's health is monitored by the National Team Hygiene Officer.
The latest accessory on tour, you’ll no doubt see face masks in abundance on tour this season. Wearing a face mask is now mandatory for all volunteers, officials, and any person holding accreditation for an event. You’ll also see athletes putting on their face masks once they finished their run (a great sponsorship opportunity if you ask me).
All of the new protocols and procedures are there to ensure our athletes can compete this season and to keep them safe whilst they are away from their friends and family. And for that, thank you to all those who’ve been working tirelessly behind the scenes to prepare for this season. The IBSF community is a great example of a successful path to safe racing in a world shaped by COVID-19.