IPCH European Championship cancelled
OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM THE IPCH
The complicated and unpredictable situation created by the COVID-19 Pandemic brought, last march, the IPCH Sport Executive Committee, in agreement with the Local Organizing Committee, to postpone the European Championship in Finland to 31st May – 7th June 2021.
In all those months IPCH, together with the Local Organizing Committee, has been closely monitoring the situation with at heart the situation and health condition of all the athletes, officials, volunteers and supporters involved.
By the rules, the European Championship is the qualification tournament for the European Region for the World Championship planned to happen in 2022, so, of course, the hope of the SEC and of the organizers, as well as the one of the teams, was to do our best to try to keep planning a successful event with all the protocols and safety measures to minimize the risk.
The complexity of the overall situation, thought, affects also and mainly the National teams and their organization and logistics.
Therefore IPCH SEC decided to plan a series of one to one online meetings with the representatives of each country involved in the EC to better understand what the situation looks like nationally and what are the plans for the different National Teams.
All the meetings took place between 19th and 29th October, and were led by Anna Rossi, as appointed IPCH Technical Delegate of the competition with the support of Aina Budde (IPCH Assistant Technical Delegate) and Kenny Verbraekel representing IPCH SEC in his role of IPCH Secretary.
The result of the meetings held with the nation was a clear feeling of how hard it still is to forsee the situation and to plan ahead.
Most of the teams also reported logistical and financial challenges to be faced to be able to participate in the EC and few Nations also were considering withdrawining from the competition.
The availabilty of a COVID vaccine is also a huge question mark, and this affects, undoubtly, the possibilties to have a minimum risk competition, and has been reported to be a key factor for the partecipication of few Nations.
Also the lack of chances to properly train is a relevant factor to be taken into consideration and that could affect the competition.
After having collected all the inputs and opinion the SEC has discussed them also with the Finnish Local Organizing Committee, with Pajulahti Olympic and Paralympic Training Centre and with the Finnish Paralympic Committee that were all dedicated and willing to do whatever in their possibilities to make the competition happen.
It turned out clearly that the possibility of having some nation withdrawing the competition could also endanger the financial feasibility of the competition on the side of the organizers and could cause an extra increasing of the fees for the remaining participants.
It is on the grounds of the results of the meetings and with at heart the health of all the people potentially involved in the European Championship that the SEC announces that the Europeans Championship 2020 will be cancelled. IPCH Sport Executive Committee is working hard in order to minimize the effects of this decision and is already working on the appointment of the host nation for the WC2022 that will be announced soon.
The IPCH Sport Executive Committee would like to officially thank the Finnish Organization, Pajulahti and especially Timo Pelkonen and all the volunteers that have been working with him in the LOC for their efforts and commitment in all those months and for their understanding of the situation.