USA Water Polo Issues Update to Members on Coronavirus Threat

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The National Junior Olympics is the world's largest youth water polo tournament, and safe from COVID-19—for now. Photo Courtesy: Catharyn Hayne

Acknowledging the inherent threat posed by COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that has sickened thousands worldwide and claimed almost three thousand lives, USA Water Polo, the leading voice for water polo in America, issued a statement to USAWP membership regarding the disease’s potential impact on the organization plans over the next few months.

usawpThis upcoming period coincides with two significant events for the organization; play in The National League—a senior men’s competition that is integral to the organization’s long-term growth strategy—and the National Junior Olympics, which is the world’s largest water polo tournament.

Christopher Ramsey, USAWP’s Chief Executive Officer, explained that—based on current information—all national events are still slated to be held as scheduled. He said that his organization is “closely monitoring the news and recommendations from national and international health organizations,” including yesterday’s announcement that FINA was postponing the Women’s Olympic Qualification tournament in Trieste, Italy as a result of coronavirus concerns.

[FINA Postpones Women’s Water Polo Olympic Qualifier In Coronavirus Emergency]

Acknowledging the concerns of the organization’s more than 50,000 members regarding a health crisis that has captivated many, Ramsey said: “Ultimately, whether our members elect to proceed with events that they have organized and/or to attend events is their choice based upon their individual assessment of the risk posed by holding/participating in the event.”

His statement included the following links for up-to-the-minute information regarding the coronavirus, both in the United States and worldwide:

Centers for Disease Control (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/summary.html#situation-in-us

World Health Organization (WHO): https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

Ramsey, who has led the national governing body for the sport since 2006, closed his statement with an assurance that USAWP will  keep membership updated about a situation that over the past week has changed dramatically in this country. Earlier today it was reported that a resident of Kirkland, Washington was the first COVID-19 fatality in the United States.

[Updated List of Sports Events Knocked By Coronavirus Emergency]

“We will strive to keep you informed as the world health situation evolves,” Ramsey said in his statement. “Should our plans change regarding JO’s, as well as other USA Water Polo sanctioned competitions and public events, we will notify you promptly, so please stay tuned.”

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