Pickering FC
COVID-19 Update
April 2, 2020
Dear Members, Players, Parents, Coaches and Team Officials,
 
I hope you and your families are staying safe during these difficult times. Canada is at the start of this crisis and we can look to other countries as to what may lie ahead. Countries such as South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore reacted quickly to this crisis by testing, identifying the hot spots and enforcing social distancing and quarantines of those infected. These countries have defeated the virus and are returning to a somewhat normal life. Other countries such as the United States, Italy and Spain have not reacted quickly and are suffering very high infection rates and high death rates. Canada is at the beginning of this cycle; we have implemented guidelines and testing standards similar to countries such as South Korea. If we all follow the advice and guidelines of our medical professionals, we will defeat this virus quickly. British Columbia was the first province in Canada to be struck by this virus and we are starting to see some encouraging signs. The recovery rate in BC is over 50% of those that have been confirmed of the virus. We must all do our parts to defeat this virus by following the advice and guidelines of our professionals. We will recover from this pandemic hopefully sooner rather than later.
 
 Stay Safe, Ed, Vice President, PFC
 
From an operational perspective:
 
We hope that you and your family are continuing to stay positive during these unusual circumstances. I know we have many parents in the Club that are front line works and we, your PFC Family, want to say a huge thank you for your commitment and bravery at this time. We’re sending our love and support to you and your family.
 
This email is an update following our previous Club wide messages of March 19 th and March 24 th .  I want to thank the PFC Board and Executive for their daily support during this time. PFC Executive Board meetings continue on a weekly basis. Communication is flowing back and forth between board and staff as we assess the latest information and direction from Federal, Provincial, Regional or Local Government, in addition to Canada Soccer Nation Inside  and Ontario Soccer . The Club is also supported with excellent advice from Sport Law and Strategy Group as well as many Club peers.
 
At times like this we get to really assess what is important to us as individuals, as groups and as an organization. 18 months ago, the PFC Board adopted the following 5 Values; Respect, Excellence, Community, Player Centred and Transparency & Integrity. They are invaluable points of reference when we’re making governance and operational decisions, especially the tough decisions.
 
In order to reinforce what YOUR Club stands for we will use the 5 Values to provide this week’s update and further updates as we move forward.
 
 
RESPECT
  • It is important during this time of uncertainty that we keep you informed with updates to programs. With limited staff we will do everything we can to respond promptly to questions and concerns so please have patience.
  • At this time, we have not assessed refunds for programs. We believe Outdoor programs will continue to run in a compacted format and maintain the deliverables stated within each program.
  • It was an option for Competitive program registrants that opted for the Easy Pay option to move their March payment to June. We are now assessing the need to move the April payment to July. A message will be sent to all Competitive registrations outlining those steps.
  • Ontario Soccer continue to provide updates and it’s imperative that you see a connected approach from Provincial to Community soccer organizations. You can visit their website or go direct to the documents they share with us here: Ontario Soccer COVID Updates
  • The City of Pickering has also banned the use of public parks and playing fields until May 25th. Please respect this ban as PFC will be the first organization they contact if there is any sign of group activity.

EXCELLENCE
  • PFC is proud to continue raising the bar for all levels of soccer in our community and by reflection across Ontario. A perfect example of this was presented on Tuesday March 30th when former player and now Women’s National Team star Jayde Riviere spent time with 100 coaches and players online. It speaks volumes to us as a Club when a girl raised in the PFC system and now succeeding as a player on the world stage is so open to sharing her time with our players and coaches.
  • Competitive and High-Performance programs continue to monitor a number of scenarios in regards to possible start dates. The hope is now for early June as this would have minimal impact on league seasons. The Club has tasked each coach with preparing to make up any missed Indoor Season training sessions during this time. Again, we are at the mercy of league operators (DRSL, CSL, OPDL, L1O) as to when they want to start the season and whether they plan to extend it beyond the typical season duration. All leagues are in regular contact with the Clubs.
  • We can't forget our Match Officials and to that end we will continue with our Match official course in April. Ontario Soccer have provided us with the ability to deliver them online. of you haven't registered and would like to get qualified and earn some extra cash this summer please contact David Lord (admin-rec@pickeringfc.ca). Just as impressive is the Canada Soccer Home Training Program released today for their match officials to continue training. There's some great content for anyone interested.

COMMUNITY
For our Recreational programs work continues in the background to take delivery of uniforms, balls and medals. We’re in contact with the City on a regular basis with regard to field permit decisions. We still sit tight and wait for Ontario Soccer’s decision when the suspension will be over and as a reminder, this may not be as simple as Ontario Soccer allowing us to play because there could still be government restrictions in place. We are building contingency plans for shortened seasons that may see us return to play realistically in June or July. One way or another we will try our best to offer something for Outdoor 2020. Look out for an opportunity to register at $0 in the next few days with a built-in payment plan to ease the burden.
  • Starting this weekend, the All Abilities program, will be offering weekly online Zoom sessions where players and parents can connect each week with our volunteer coaches and staff.
  • We’ve seen a fantastic harmony in the growth of our coaching community. This week we invited guest speakers from Halifax City Soccer Club and Brampton Soccer Club to share their wisdom, even opening the doors to their own coaches to attend. In return we get fresh ideas, great coach engagement and validation that we’re on the right track - the BEST track. I’ll reiterate that YOUR PFC coaches are committed as ever in these trying times so look out for more content and support from them. I want to thank our Director of Soccer Operations Dave Benning for his continued efforts to get as much great content out to our technical staff as we possibly can.
  • The PFC Board have also been in contact with the City of Pickering to seek out other ways that the City my be able to assist us. As the City of Pickering’s largest not-for-profit organization, we hope they can assist us, and by us, we mean YOU.
  • Ontario Trillium Foundation have kindly permitted us to suspend our current grant to engage with community groups across the Region. A major component of the grant was to enable us to have meetings, town halls and 1on1 sessions but these obviously go against government mandates.

PLAYER CENTERED
  • This game is about the player, and we regularly talk about the 4 Corner Model of Player Development. You see this happen each week at training when a player enters the field, but don’t underestimate the amount of content they can gain while away from the field. Our technical staff are constantly working with your teams Head Coach to provide content to support them and you.
  •  Physical – Challenges to players to work on technique and skills through social media campaigns and team-based programs.
  • Technical – Challenges from Technical Staff and Head Coaches to get players touching the ball as much as possible, as often as possible. Consider using our new ‘Play at Home’ Grassroots Curriculum in order to meet school physical activity requirements.
  • Social – our regular, weekly, Zoom Team meetings are led by Team Staff but allow players to connect with team mates while at home. They’re a lot of fun and a great way to prepare our players for the grown-up world of conference calls!!
  • Psychological – this distance between player and coach makes it difficult to check-in on how people are feeling during this unique time. Our coaches still follow the policy of ‘Rule of 2’ so a check-in with a player should always include the parent or another coach. If you feel your player would benefit from a chat with their Head Coach please let Hollie (grassroots@pickeringfc.ca) or Dave (dso@pickeringfc.ca) know.

We positively encourage this ongoing team building so when we finally get back together, we hit the ground running! Hollie has been busy distributing a Grassroots Home Work Plan that should be coming to you and your team directly - look out for a follow up email from Hollie today.
  • Head Coaches are reminded and encouraged to use the Zoom platform which is free for 40-minute online meetings. Teams should be hosting online sessions where all players are required to take part.
  • The Club and our coaches are constantly using Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in positive ways to engage players and parents in keeping everyone active. Please use the #PFCChallenge hashtag in all of your postings.
  • Our weekly calendar will help players prepare for the week ahead.
TRANSPARENCY & INTEGRITY
  • PFC took the very difficult decision last week to notify staff we would be issuing Temporarily Lay-Off notices to multiple employees. This decision wasn’t taken lightly and we have since heard that Ontario Soccer have also had to do the same. This situation is impacting us all and we want you to know that we’re not immune. Our employees are critical to the success of our Club and at this time of year when we are all focused on ramping up for the Outdoor season this has been a real punch to the gut. At this time Ontario Soccer have confirmed the continued suspension of all soccer related activities until the end of April and will be making decisions on a month by month basis.
  • As we alluded to earlier, it is still too soon to assess refunds for any programs.
  • The balance of our Indoor Competitive programs we plan to complete those sessions during the Outdoor season.
  • The Competitive Outdoor season will run and we will assess the cost/deliverables as soon as the picture becomes clearer. 
  • The Outdoor Recreational season will still meet its objectives with some festival type games and multiple games in a week.

Finally, with hopes of a late May start up we encourage you to stay in touch with us. If you have any questions or comments about this message please email  memberservices@pickeringfc.ca with 'COVID Update' in the Subject line.

Stay safe.

Matt Greenwood, Executive Director