Dear Riptides,
Firstly, we hope all families are keeping safe in this unprecedented time. The Executive Board is aware that our members are facing challenges in our personal and professional lives and the landscape for the coming months is very uncertain for us all. The welfare of our athletes, coaches, and families is in our thoughts on a daily basis.
As a board we are committed to making good decisions that will strive to balance the complexity of the current environment with the long-term welfare of our club. These decisions will not be taken lightly and will be made with great care. As a club we have already made challenging decisions and know these are the first of many.
Please see the update below which outlines the actions taken by the club thus far. The board will work to continue to update our membership throughout this process and ask for your patience as we navigate through this pandemic.
Should you have any questions or comments, please direct them to either your team manager or myself.
Kelly Thorne
Edmonton Tsunami Water Polo Club President
Status of the 2019-2020 Season
Over the past few weeks a variety of decisions have been made by Water Polo Canada and Alberta Water Polo in relation to provincial and national competitions. Taking into consideration the health and safety of all those involved, WPC and AWPA have made the decision to cancel the following events:
  • U12 & U14 Provincial Championships (April 18-19)
  • Remainder of the 2019-20 NCL Season (various dates)
  • Junior Pan American Championships – Edmonton, AB (July 6-13)*At this time no decisions have been announced regarding Team Alberta or Age Group National Teams for the summer of 2020
Tsunami understands that these decisions were not easy and applaude both AWPA and WPC for their efforts to protect our community. We would like to take this time to commend all athletes, teams, coaches and families on the efforts made this season. As a club we watched our athletes demonstrate commitment, improvement and a strong sense of team. Our athletes have displayed incredible maturity throughout this situation and we look forward to reconvening back at the pool soon.
Coach Support 
The culture and success of Tsunami is made possible by the commitment and strength of our coaching team. In order to ensure the wellbeing of our coaches the board voted to continue paying our coaches throughout the program suspension. With many of our coaches relying on their Tsunami income to make ends meet, the board felt this decision was necessary. The coaches were humbled and grateful beyond words when made aware of this decision. Since then the coaches have assisted the board with administrative duties and will continue to do so until the end of the season.
The board intends to continue to support our coaches in the coming weeks through new government initiatives, EI support services, and pre-budgeted coaching expenses. At this time we would also like to take the opportunity to thank our coaches for all their time and dedication to our club this season. It is thanks to them that we are able to see our teams and athletes excel.
Year-End Awards and AGM
As a result of the social distancing measures put in place to protect our community, Tsunami has cancelled the in-person Year-End Awards Banquet and AGM for 2020. In order to adhere to our bylaws a virtual AGM will be held in June (date TBD). At this time the club will elect board members for the 2020-2021 season, pass new bylaws which better align with the evolving culture at our club, and provide a recap of our current season.
As a club we believe it is important to take the time to recognize and celebrate the excellence of our athletes and teams. Although we will not be meeting for an in-person banquet this spring, year-end awards will still be awarded and our coaches are in the process of determining exactly what this will look like. Please keep an eye out for additional information regarding awards in the coming weeks.
Bingo Requirements
Bingo fundraising is a main source of revenue for our club which has allowed Tsunami to keep registration fees affordable. As a result of social distancing bingo halls in Alberta have been temporarily closed in an attempt to flatten the curve. Tsunami is unsure when bingos will resume but will stay in contact with families in the coming weeks/months as we know more.
The board has made the following decisions regarding bingo credits at this time:
  1. Families scheduled to work a bingo that has been cancelled will still receive credit towards their bingo requirements for the season.
  2. Tsunami WILL NOT award bonus credits for cancelled shifts which surpassed a family’s required credits (ie. additional credit towards an athlete account).
It is worth stating that bingos may resume in the coming weeks/months. When bingo halls will reopen is unclear and the club will need to respond accordingly once bingos resume.
At this time we would like to remind our membership that Tsunami is a member-run not for profit club. The club is managed by parent volunteers and the operation of the club is more complex than that of a for profit service.
The situation we face today is unprecedented and constantly evolving. Today Tsunami is in a position to survive this crisis as a result of the excellent efforts of our membership, both past and present, who financially planned for a rainy day. Today is that day and during this crisis we will reap the rewards of smart financial decisions made by past executives. Notwithstanding, difficult financial decisions will be required in the coming weeks and months. With these decisions we will look to prioritize the long-term wellbeing of our club while also striving for fairness to our past, present and future members.
At this time it is difficult for the club to assess what financial challenges we will face due to the current situation. As mentioned above, the club will be significantly impacted as a result of our lost bingo revenue. This, along with many other factors, make it impossible for the club to make any registration refund decisions at this time. Your continued patience and support is greatly appreciated as we navigate through this trying time.
Online Training
In an attempt to bring a sense of normalcy to the lives of our athletes the Tsunami coaches have organized weekly meetings/training with our U10 and older teams. Our coaches feel these opportunities are important for athletes to stay connected to their teammates, provide structure to their schedules, and stay active. We encourage athletes to take advantage of these opportunities and again applaud our coaches for their innovative and thoughtful approach to coaching.

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