Pickering FC
COVID-19 Update
August 28, 2020
Dear PFC Family,

To assist families in returning to play we are shuffling the Weekly Update to better reflect our program offerings while continuing to stand by our Club values of Respect, Transparency and Integrity, Community, Player-Centered, and Integrity.

This graphic really sums up the substantial range of programs we have from our U3 starters to our experienced Walking Soccer group and everyone in between!
The 2020-2021 Indoor program is open for registration and spots are filling up steadily in most age groups. We’ve put a lot of thought into the running of this competition and feel the three mini-season approach is a way to bring families back to the game at a time right for them. If Season 1 still feels too early for your family or you want to see how the ‘Return to School’ plays out then we look forward to seeing you in Season 2. We understand that every family has a unique situation they need to prioritize. 

Click the image to register:
  • Multi-Season: This year we will be offering 3 mini-seasons (10 weeks each) instead of one long season (18 weeks). This will provide families with the flexibility to start their recreational involvement at a time that's right for them. 
  • Multi-sport players: Offering three mini-seasons will enable players that also participate in other sports to join us at the end of their current outdoor season or to get their soccer fix in before returning to another sport.
  • Discounts: The first season for each player will include their complete uniform package and Ontario Soccer registration. Subsequent seasons will be at a reduced rate to reflect those components are already paid for.
  • Outdoor kick-off: To make the most of this unusual Summer and to take advantage of good weather and fresh air the seasons will all kick-off on our community soccer fields located in neighborhoods across the City of Pickering.
  • Standards: PFC continues to develop our own match officials and using them for each game to ensure fairness and guidance to young players.
  • With the first season of the 2020-2021 Indoor Rec Season set to start on September 13 we are in need of coaches of teams in the U3 to U6 and U8 to U18 divisions.

As a coach in the U3 to U6 division you will work with the PFC Game Leaders in the execution of the hour-long sessions and be the point person for distribution of uniforms, schedules and weekly updates to parents. The Club will provide, via email, weekly session plans so that the Coach is up to speed on what will take place in the session. If you’re able to volunteer 1 hour per week please contact Dave Lord at admin-rec@pickeringfc.ca

As a coach in the U8 to U18 divisions you lead team communication, distribution of uniforms and schedules and manage the team during each game. This would be a 2-hour commitment each week with the Sunday game and weekly communication. PFC will provide you with:
  • Coach T-Shirt
  • Ball pump
  • Kit Bag
  • Goalie gloves
  • PFC Return to Play strategy
  • Team list
  • Schedule 
  • Game sheets

As we move indoors in early October, we will need Field Coordinators. Field Coordinators will work alongside our Soccer Centre Staff to assist in field set up/ tear down, directing players and parents to fields, providing information on field exit procedures and reminding all to hand sanitize before entering the field area before each game. This would involve being available each Sunday morning for 4 to 5 hours. If available, please contact Dave Lord at admin-rec@pickeringfc.ca.
All of these opportunities are available to parents and high school students who are looking to obtain community services hours and include the All Abilities program too.

The PFC All Abilities program have finalised plans for their return to the field in September. We’re excited to see them back so please look out for details on this program in your inbox. The Virtual All Abilities Program will continue each Tuesday (6:30 - 7:30pm). 

Don’t forget that Outdoor Recreational players are offered a credit code for the entire value of your registration this summer that can be used at the checkout when you register for the Indoor season.

Grassroots Development
Led by our talented Grassroots Director, Hollie Babut (grassroots@pickeringfc.ca) this program has never been in better shape. Hollie manages the structure of the program and the technical content of each session while supporting great coaches within each age group. 

Players in this program often continue on to Competitive and High-Performance soccer. We also support multi-sport athletes who often need to adjust their commitment at certain times of the year and the door is never closed to players who might want to come and see if it’s right for them.
For any Recreational player from U8-U12 interested in participating in our Grassroots U8-U12 program this is a great way to work with our excellent Coaching Staff, build your skills on the field and get a taste of the next level of development. All sessions are delivered by our professional coaches within a curriculum developed internally and endorsed by Canada Soccer. Want to sign up? The next steps are:

a. Click the image below and identify the Head Coach working with your child’s age and gender.
b. The Coaches name is also a hyperlink to their mail box.
c. Connect with them and confirm practice day and times.
d. Visit the session and observe the practice
e. Sign up for our pro-rated program fee through to the end of September.
Pickering FC runs teams in the Durham Region Soccer League (DRSL) and the Central Soccer League (CSL). There is no promotion / relegation below U13. From U13 and up teams can be promoted from the DRSL into the CSL. The CSL covers an area from Barrie in the north to Peterborough in the east and as far west as Etobicoke. In conjunction with the Team Head Coach and our Director of Soccer Operations, Dave Benning the playing group is assessed for their ability level to play at one of these two levels.

Did You Know? 
Open House is the appropriate environment for U8-U12 players to experience a new program and decide if it is right for them. Players aren’t ‘selected’ or ‘cut’ because there is a place for everyone. (grassroots@pickeringfc.ca)

Tryouts or ID Camps are for U13 and older players who are now emotionally able to understand the decision-making process and how they measure up to their peers. (dso@pickeringfc.ca)

At this time Ontario Soccer has limited our ability to run large scale events to seek out new players due to the risk of COVID19 spread. Interested players can contact the appropriate Coach above to register their interest in our programs and we will follow up with a call.

Make sure you’re informed! 
High Performance
The Pickering FC structure defines high performance as those programs where teams compete in standards-based leagues. This includes the Ontario Player Development League (OPDL) for players from U13-U17 ages and then for older players they enter League1 Ontario (L1O). These leagues bring with them a higher cost that reflects the increased training time, coaching level, referee level, season length, uniform and equipment. At the OPDL level games are regularly scouted by Provincial Staff and college coaches while L1O has become a successful starting point for many Canadian Premier League (CPL) and junior TFC players.

Players interested in learning more about either OPDL or L1O can contact Dave Benning at dso@pickeringfc.ca.

The OPDL is still firmly focused on a season this year. We continue to await and update from them on a start date.

League 1 Ontario is seeking interest in a Fall League to run September-
November. Any interested players should contact our Director of Soccer Operations, Dave Benning (dso@pickeringfc.ca)
Match Officials
This past January the Pickering FC created the Match Officials Committee. The committee meets monthly to maintain and develop programs to help the club’s Match Officials – of any age and experience – improve their officiating skills.  This includes hosting Ontario Soccer clinics for new officials, class room sessions to update match officials on changes to the Laws of the Game and on field sessions to help match officials with use of signals, positioning, flag use and conditioning. Committee members worked with 1st and 2nd year officials to provide mentoring to ease them into the role and provide feedback to help the group become comfortable as well as identifying strengths and areas to improve on.
The Committee is working towards the 2020-2021 Indoor Rec Season and will be holding a virtual meeting in the next week to introduce the program to the new officials and update the returning officials on what to expect. This week we’ll introduce you to the first three of our Committee Members:

Mike Balfour
  • PFC Club Head Referee for past 3 seasons
  • Match Official for 20 plus years
  • Ontario Soccer Match Official Grade - 6 Match Official
  • Occupation – Works as a chef/manager
  • 2019 Leagues: Pickering FC Rec, Competitive Exhibition Games and Senior Leagues in Durham Region

Tristan Forgie
  • Match Official for 7 Years
  • Ontario Soccer Match Official Grade – 7 in process of upgrading to 8
  • Ontario Soccer Certified Mentor
  • Referee with the Ontario Minor Hockey Association/Ontario Hockey Association – Level 3C
  • Occupation – 3rd Year Student at Brock University studying Sports Management
  • 2019 League: Pickering FC, OPDL, CSL, DRSL, Toronto Soccer Association, Ontario Colleges, Darlington Men’s and Ontario Cup.

Cadi Pontinen
  • Match Official since 2002
  • Ontario Soccer Match Official Grade – current Grade 6 in process of upgrading to Grade 7
  • Occupation – Works for Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment – Full time Mum of 5
  • 2019 Leagues: Pickering FC, OPDL, CSL, DRSL, Ontario Women’s Soccer League, Ontario Soccer League and SWOT.
Governance and Operations
As part of our National Youth License from Canada Soccer we’ve met many standards addressing techncial content on the field, operational processes and planning in the club house all underpinned by financial oversight and governance in the Board Room. These components make up the core of WHAT we do as a Club and HOW we operate. The ‘trending’ theme right now is knowing what your WHY is. Our WHY is simple - to ensure as many children, youth and adults participate in soccer for as long as possible. It’s worth taking a look at our Player Development Pathway below which demonstrates a place exists for everyone. We believe a community/grassroots Club is open, accessible and inclusive of everyone. 

The PFC Board is now leading our strategic direction to the next level and we want you involved. The Club is refining its governance model to align with the Canada Soccer recommended model of a skills-based board, supported by clear sub-committees and standing committees. This makes best use of everyone’s time and allows for more expertise and greater diversity at the core of the Club.

We’ve stated before that the Club has a hunger to come back to the field with ‘a renewed energy, with fresh ideas and lots of hope for the future’. That’s going to need your skill set, your energy and your ideas! Our first key date will be the PFC AGM to be held on November 18th at the Pickering Soccer Centre where we would like to present our Standing Committees as:
·       Finance Committee.
·       Risk-Audit Committee.
·       Governance Committee.
·       Nominations Committee.

The Standing Committees are an integral part of any not-for-profit organization. They would typically meet once a month for 1-2 hours and address matters specific to their area of the Club. If you have an interest in volunteering some time on one of these Committees please contact Matt Greenwood at execdirector@pickeringfc.ca to arrange an informal chat. 
A final reminder about the Canada Soccer and Allstate fun-filled day at The Allstate Soccer Show: Live Online, where you’ll have the chance to meet your soccer idols from Canada Soccer’s Women’s and Men’s National Teams, Major League Soccer, the Canadian Premier League as well as Legends from Manchester United, watch interactive player presentations and panels with audience Q&A sessions, win prizes and participate in more soccer fun! Space is limited so register now!
Price: Free
Date: Sunday, August 30th, 2020
Time: 11:00am – 6:00pm EDT
Location: LIVE ONLINE (Click image to register)

Don’t forget, our Return to Play strategy is available on the PFC website under our COVIVD19 page for everyone’s reference and provides a lot of detail on the three key components to our Return to Play Strategy. We have also made available a recording of the webinar we had previously delivered to Grassroots, Competitive and OPDL families in June. The link can be found here.
Our new look, 24th consecutive Weekly Update is supported by ongoing updates and stories through our Twitter, Instagram or Facebook platforms. 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