FROM: Danny Da Costa, CEO
TO: OSTEN & VICTOR Alberta Tennis Centre Members and Program Participants
DATE: May 28, 2020
I wanted to briefly update you on our most recent conversations with the Province and City.
Our Board Chair, Ron Ghitter had a meeting with the Minister of Health Tyler Shandro, to make the case for reopening tennis in the Province. Minister Shandro has read our documentation and indicated that our documents were very well received by the Minister and the Alberta Health Services Team. Minister Shandro also indicated that the documents were very helpful in making the case to reopen tennis in the Province.
Following that call, Ron received a call from the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Alberta Dr. Marcia Johnson. Dr. Johnson was also very complimentary regarding the case for tennis but indicated that the decision to reopen indoor tennis would not come until mid-June when Phase 2 occurs. It is possible that indoor tennis can be considered for reopening under a revised plan for Recreation, but she indicated that a number of factors will go into the determination.
I have met with City of Calgary re: doubles and the resumption of Group training. The City has indicated that they will not give clearance to resume outdoor group training and doubles play until the Province issues an order which allows the resumption of tennis. I have challenged their position with the City and referred them to Alberta’s guidance on Outdoor Recreation which clearly states that the decision to reopen courts is the City’s. That document also references that groups can resume outdoors as long as there are no more than 50 people in a single location and that all public health measures are put in place. I have also outlined a tweet from Dr. Deena Hinshaw which references the resumption of training and groups. Both of these documents are attached.
Therefore, we have written directly to the Province to seek clearance on behalf of tennis in the Province. Given the lack of clarity we are receiving from the City of Calgary on this matter, we have requested a meeting with the City of Calgary’s Recreation Department and CEMA. We are waiting for them to confirm a day/time.
I have also spoken with two Calgary based constituency offices for the Provincial Government and they are in support of the reopening of tennis, especially given that the Province has provided guidance on Outdoor Recreation and the relaxation of Outdoor Gatherings to 50 people in a single location provided public health guidelines are followed. We are also in daily contact with Tennis Alberta on the matter who are working diligently to help unlock tennis in the Province.
I have also had a call earlier today with the leadership of Tennis Canada and reinforced during our call, the importance of advocacy to reopen tennis across Canada. Tennis Canada is certainly advocating across many sectors and we hope the efforts will lead towards easing tennis restrictions across Canada.
Our Board is discussing various options going forward. It is clear that we should be able to resume group lessons and doubles play outdoors according to the documentation set forth by the Province on their BizConnect website and from our discussions with the Province.
We have also engaged the media and will be featured on CTV evening news tonight Thursday, May 28, 2020, at 6:00 pm. The segment will focus on how tennis is a safe sport and how it should be fully allowed.
I want to thank all of you who have reached out to me to offer words of encouragement and support. It means a lot to our team. This has been a very stressful time for our organization, our personnel and for me personally. Please continue to be patient and it’s only a matter of time before we can full resume operations.
Our sincere hope is that tennis can fully resume operations
I will provide another update when we have more information.
Danny Da Costa
Chief Executive Officer
OSTEN & VICTOR Alberta Tennis Centre
Tel: 587 393 1604