Pickering FC
COVID-19 Update
August 7, 2020
Dear PFC Family,

We’ll keep repeating this (because it’s important), our Return to Play is a cautious approach and we have now seen over the past six weeks how our players, coaches and parents have adapted to this new model. This weekend marks the next big step in our Return to Play strategy where our Competitive teams will finally get to enjoy some inter-club competition. A full schedule of games is set for tomorrow at the Kinsmen Field complex. Under normal circumstances we’d love to encourage you to bring the family down and take in what will be the first game of the season (in mid August!), but as you know attendance is limited to reduce risk.

In addition to this positive news we’re also really excited to get our Recreational indoor season started in early September. The program will follow the same protocols and expectations as the Competitive teams are now at.
PFC is planning a return to play for our recreational players that is safe, progressive and flexible. Take a look at the innovations we plan to bring to our new indoor landscape:

  • 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.
The Club is excited to see our Match Officials are really enjoying their Return to Play training and just like the players and coaches, they’ve been desperate to get back on the field. In a wonderful collaboration between our technical staff the upcoming inter-club games will be officiated by our own match officials who themselves will be learning the implementation of new modified rules under COVID19. We’re grateful for the leadership and enthusiasm the Match Official Committee have taken on leading this and will learn alongside the players as they enforce rules including:
  • No corner kicks,
  • No heading
  • No spitting
  • Kick-in instead of throw-ins

Anyone interested in joining the Wednesday night training session must contact Dave Lord (admin-rec@pickeringfc.ca) to confirm their well-being and awareness of our pandemic protocols. 

The Virtual All Abilities Program this coming Tuesday will run from 6:30 - 7:30 pm on our WebEx platform. Our AA Coordinator, Tammy, sends out a reminder each Monday. If any of our coaches, volunteers, athletes or parents would like to assist with programming on one of our upcoming dates, please let her know ASAP. 
Pickering FC were an inaugural Club in the Ontario Soccer Club Excellence program and the only holder of the Gold Award since its inception in 2007. We followed that up with an Ontario Player Development League (OPDL) License during its launch in 2013 and in 2014 were a founder Club of League1 Ontario offering both male and female teams. As a Club we strive to be at the forefront of quality soccer programs that serve you best.

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. Our chart addresses the player pathway but at every stage we know there are coaches, match officials, administrators and volunteers working to suppport that player.
Our doors are open to all. 
As a Canada Soccer National Youth Licensed Club, we are planning to take PFC to the next level and we want you involved. The Club will continue to refine 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.
·       Strategic Planning 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.  
Player Centered
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. The recommended 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.
Transparency and Integrity
As a not-for-profit organization our money is very closely accounted for and we hope to get member and community support as we work through this situation.

High Performance
  • The OPDL is still firmly focused on a mid-August start date and should be updating license holders within the next 10 days on their plans.
  • 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)

Competitive Outdoor
  •  Competition for DRSL level teams is being revised as we opted out of entering the league this Summer. Along with other Clubs in the Region we will build our own schedule that affords us some flexibility we need to provide teams with peace of mind. Teams can still enter the DRSL if they so chose however any option will be discussed between the Head Coach and the Parent group before approval from the Director of Soccer Operations.
  • The CSL have confirmed they still plan to run a competition schedule this Summer.

Outdoor Recreational 
  •  A credit code for the entire value of your registration this summer can be used at the checkout when you register for the Indoor season. If at this stage a refund or credit code is required please complete the attached form and submit for our attention at memberservices@pickeringfc.ca
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.

While this is our 21st consecutive Weekly Update you can continue to stay in contact on a daily basis 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