July 2021 update from Pentathlon Canada’s President, Rod Staveley.

Below is the July 2021 update from Pentathlon Canada’s President, Rod Staveley.



Pentathlon Canada July 2021 President’s Update

Pentathlon Canada members and supporters,

With COVID-19 vaccinations increasing and our daily case counts decreasing, I am optimistic that a return to sport is just around the corner. Here are some Pentathlon Canada updates that I wish to share with you:

  1. Our next National Championships – now taking place in 2022
  2. Kelly Fitzsimmons – thanks for representing Pentathlon Canada
  3. Junior World Championships July 2021 – we are sending three athletes
  4. Leadership and Governance update
  5. Back for 2021-2022 – Ian Soellner and Joshua Riker-Fox

See below for more information.

Thank you for your continued support. If you have any comments, suggestions or questions, please don’t hesitate to email me – President@PentathlonCanada.ca.

Stay safe,
Rod Staveley

1. Our next National Championships – now taking place in 2022

As the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, provinces have started to allow indoor and outdoor training, but there are wide regional variations. Nevertheless, our athletes have demonstrated their resilience and creativity to continue their training via open water swimming, outdoor fencing and more.

We have made the difficult decision to postpone the National Championships until 2022. Our objective is to ensure an equal playing field and at the same time recognize the fluctuating COVID-19 pandemic with the need to ensure everyone’s safety above all else. We look forward to welcoming our athletes then.

2. Kelly Fitzsimmons – thanks for representing Pentathlon Canada

Earlier this year, our national women’s champion – Kelly Fitzsimmons – headed to Europe and Africa to train and compete. Stops included Hungary, Bulgaria, Poland, and Egypt. Kelly’s goal was clear – qualify to represent Canada at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games.

Although Canada will not have a pentathlete at the Olympics, we are full of admiration for her determination to achieve her goal especially considering the many challenges COVID-19 presented. Kelly, thanks for representing Pentathlon Canada and all of Canada! We are proud of you.

3. Junior World Championships July 2021 – we are sending three athletes

Three athletes are representing Canada at the Junior World Championship in Egypt from July 12 to July 18. Bonne chance and good luck to Anna Wang, Quinn Schulz and Olivia Li. All are from Alberta and train with the Ares Pentathlon & Fencing Club. Joshua Riker-Fox (Next Generation National Coach) and Meaghan Schulz (Team Leader/Chaperone) complete the Canadian contingent.

4. Leadership and Governance update

For 2020-2021, Pentathlon Canada (PC) received funding from Sport Canada to hire a part-time Executive Director – Shelley Callaghan. As part of the Strategic Plan, her many responsibilities include assisting the PC board and our committees with the following:

  • Develop safe sport policies and procedures
  • Train members on safe sport and gender equity
  • Update Pentathlon Canada By-laws
  • Create a 2021-2025 Pentathlon Canada Strategic Plan
  • Revise the framework for Long Term Athlete Development

Whew – no small task! Thanks for your continued efforts, Shelley.

To help us achieve these objectives, Sport Canada is providing $46,500 in funding for 2021-2022. Thank you, Sport Canada.

Pentathlon Canada will be creating committees to oversee strategy implementation. If you have any questions or are interested in joining a committee, please email Shelley at: ExecutiveDirector@PentathlonCanada.ca.

5. Back for 2021-2022 – Ian Soellner and Joshua Riker-Fox

Our volunteer high performance support team – Olympians – Ian Soellner (Barcelona 1992) and Joshua Riker-Fox (Beijing 2008), are returning for 2021-2022. Ian continues as High Performance Director and Josh as National Next Generation Coach.

I cannot stress how fortunate we are to have these two coaches. Many thanks, merci beaucoup, Ian and Josh.

Stay safe,
Rod Staveley
Pentathlon Canada President

About Modern Pentathlon and What does a Modern Pentathlete do?

About Modern Pentathlon

Modern pentathlon, a core Olympic sport, is the only sport created specifically for the Olympics. The founder of the modern Olympics, Baron Pierre von Coubertin, developed the sport as the ultimate skill-and-strength test of a soldier. Modern pentathlon debuted at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics and has featured in every subsequent edition of the Games. In 2000, the women’s competition was added. It is still the most varied and demanding multisport test in the Olympic family.

What does a Modern Pentathlete do?

Modern pentathletes compete in five sports: one-touch épée fencing, 200-metre freestyle swimming, equestrian show-jumping and lastly, a combined laser pistol shooting and running event (referred to as Laser Run). The final Laser Run event is incredibly exciting. Athletes are seeded in order of their total points accumulated from the three previous sports. The number of seconds each athlete starts after the highest-ranked competitor is determined by their points difference. Following a short burst run to the laser targets, the athlete must complete five shots on the target’s bullseye within 50 seconds. Next comes an 800-metre run. After three more Laser Run legs, the first athlete crossing the finish line wins. The relay events (men, women and mixed) include all five sports, adjusted for teams of two.

The Paris 2024 Olympics will feature a new Modern Pentathlon showpiece featuring all five disciplines in 90 minutes on the final day of competition. Read more here.

For more information, please contact:

George A. Skene OLY
Media, Pentathlon Canada
Cell: 416-560-2571



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