Pickering FC
COVID-19 Update
June 12, 2020
June 12 th 2020
Dear PFC Family,
 
Yesterday, Ontario Soccer shared publicly their Return to Play plan. I’m really pleased to say that PFC Staff had covered 95% of that content in our own internal draft plan. We’ve taken away a couple of items that will help bolster our PFC specific plan and yesterday afternoon we welcomed Mark Godwin, Assistant Director of Coaching at Florida Youth Soccer Association (FYSA) to speak about their current experiences with Return to Play. FYSA returned to fields 2 weeks ago and are therefore a great resource to learn from. The message from Mark was that parents and players couldn’t wait to get back outside and onto the field – with appropriate precautions in place of course. Another great way to serve our vision to, ‘ Be the best Football Club in Canada by reaching beyond the borders of our Community to enrich the lives of those within it.
The PFC Return to Play plan will include a new policy, multiple procedures and a communication plan for all. Following Board approval both technical and administrative staff will schedule online sessions with club members to communicate this plan as well as making it available on the COVID19 specific web page, via email, team meetings and digital media platforms.
 
While national and provincial messaging can be quite generic, the challenge as a club is in our unique needs. From a program perspective that includes the diverse needs of our Recreational programs including All Abilities and Walking Soccer right through to OPDL and L1O. From a facility perspective that includes the entry and exit of players at Kinsmen Field and the many other fields we utilize across the City. It also includes the very important flow of people at the Pickering Soccer Centre and we’ve given that a lot of thought too.
 
I’m constantly reminded that our facility is one of the best in Ontario. From meetings to games I see many indoor facilities and I’m simply amazed by the low/poor lighting, litter and debris around the field edges and uninspiring entrance ways. Quite frankly I’m amazed that players feel inspired, excited or sometimes safe playing in these venues. It’s not unusual for me to get my light meter app out on my phone and confirm just how dark these places are. 
With that said we want to thank players, parents and coaches for your efforts during the past indoor season to keep the place clean and to support our facility staff in the thankless task of maintaining a safe and clean environment for all. Many are aware of our Water Only policy in the dome, and towards the end of the summer you will begin to see the new protocols required under the pandemic. Our Return to Play plan will therefore include both Outdoor and Indoor guidance.
Community
Our Weekly Calendar for the week ahead. We have also just started a ‘Blind and Para Soccer Social’ on Fridays from 5-6pm.
The Virtual All Abilities Program will be moving to Tuesdays starting next week. There will be no program this Saturday . Tuesday evenings will run from 6:30 - 7:30 pm and Tammy will send out a reminder on Monday. If any of our coaches, volunteers, athletes or parents would like to assist with programming on one of our upcoming dates, please let me know ASAP. 

Upcoming Themes
  • Tuesday June 16 - Theme: Teddy Bear Picnic, 6:30 - 7:30 pm
  • Tuesday June 23 - Theme: Summer Solstice, 6:30 - 7:30 pm
  • Tuesday June 30 - Theme: Mexican Fiesta, 6:30 - 7:30 pm
 
As a Club, Pickering FC has worked hard to provide innovative school programs, multi-sport flexibility, ‘nation-leading accessibility’ and localized playing opportunities. We know, and want, to continue doing more to serve the community as we focus on developing great people, who just happen to be great players. With one eye on the 2020 Indoor season we welcome your thoughts on what that might look like. Would multi-sport sessions interest you or more drop-in session for all ages? Share your thoughts at: communityprograms@pickeringfc.ca
Respect
Pickering FC has a long and healthy relationship with the City of Pickering. As the Club has matured and increased the sophistication of our operations the City has been right there alongside us to support in the development of grass fields, the unveiling of Kinsmen Turf Field almost 15 years ago and most recently the opening of the Pickering Soccer Centre in 2014. We’re very proud of the faith the City shows in our not-for-profit Club to run a professional operation developing players, coaches, our staff and ultimately the community.

In our most recent update to the City on the current Return to Play planning prompted the following response from Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Marisa Carpino - ‘I appreciate the thoughtful and comprehensive approach taken by PFC regarding return to play’ while Sharon Milton, Manager Recreations Services stated; ‘This is great news-congratulations to Pickering Soccer for your obvious lead in return to play planning!’.

We appreciate their support and look forward to future developments as the largest not-for-profit sport organization in the City.

Don’t forget, our specific COVID-19 page on the website is your constant source of information for our weekly updates and our Return to Play (RTP) plan.
Excellence
PFC Board and Staff are keen to get back to normal. We’re also very realistic about the fact that it will take time and that there will be many changes along the way. With that in mind we’d like to get your thoughts on what a truly excellent club looks like. At this point in time we’re reviewing our own club governance model including policies and procedures to ensure we are the best version of a club.

It’s important to understand what that looks like from a member perspective or facility user perspective too. We’re not looking at formal surveys and questionnaires at this stage. Just a blank canvas for you to throw ideas at. When we start to open fields and facility doors up again life will get very busy, very quickly so in this little calm we have before the storm we invite you to share ideas, thoughts, concerns, questions or a vision of where we can go. Send them to execdirector@pickeringfc.ca in confidence.
Player Centered
‘Player Centered’ is the mantra for grassroots sport and a key component to encourage long-term involvement in sport as an athlete, coach, official or fan. Alongside a parent’s support at home, a great coach is integral to enjoyment and a love for sport. This week we heard more great comments from you:

“Thank you for your engagement so far during these difficult times. We appreciate it. It truly is the little things. Coach Hollie dropped off practice cones to our home with a note. A small gesture gave huge impact to your player. She was extremely excited and it gave her the motivation to keep practicing. The strategy of a coach leading a practice via WebEx and another coach observing is well done. Again... thank you!”

Recreational Virtual Training: NOW EXPANDED OPTIONS
Last week we let you know about a new Recreational Virtual Training platform. Pickering FC have joined forces with This new program is being launched as an extension of our current Active Start virtual sessions, where we will be releasing a 6-week video series focusing on development and physical literacy!
 
Every Monday for the next 6 weeks, a new video will be released to our Active Start players. Each video will be 10 to 15 minutes and can be accessed on demand throughout the entire program.
Keep your eye out for a special guest each week , who will be guiding you through each video! At the end of the 6-week program, each participant will be awarded with a Certificate of Completion to recognize their commitment and hard work throughout the weeks!
 
The virtual program is available FREE of charge to any existing participants of our Active Start Program (U3-U7). If you are not currently registered but are interested in participating, we encourage you to register for our Outdoor Recreational Program using our $1 down registration (2 future installments subject to the season running).

If you have any inquiries or questions regarding the program, please contact our Grassroots Director via email at grassroots@pickeringfc.ca We’re looking forward to launching this exciting new program and offering soccer resources to our members during our time away from the field.
For new players, register for the Outdoor 2020 season here for only $1 down. Then click the image to register for the Virtual training session.

Our Grassroots Development (U8-U12) continues twice a week led by Coach Hollie (Tuesdays, 5pm) and Coach Trey (Thursdays, 5pm). Details are available from your Head Coach and players are welcome to join in on both sessions.

  • Ball Drop Off! We delivered more balls to players in need this week. If you are new to the Club and need a new ball let us know by email to grassroots@pickeringfc.ca and we’ll get one to you asap. (We follow the Canada Post ‘Knock and Drop’ procedure).

  • Don’t forget our PFC Play at Home program is a downloadable work book packed with practices and puzzles.
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.
  • Indoor Competitive Following a presentation last weekend by the PFC Director of Boys Soccer all Head Coaches will be following up with their parent groups regarding the remainder of the Indoor season and three options open to them: Donate – Defer – Refund.
  • Competitive Outdoor seasons are continuing to be planned by our Leagues and therefore our staff assess the cost/deliverables as the picture becomes clearer. We are now starting to hear provisional plans from OPDL and DRSL leaders. 
  • Outdoor Recreational season will run and meet its objectives of a 14-game season with some festival type and/or multiple games in a week. We have contingency plans set for a July 1st or August 1st start date. The Clubs ‘Dollar Down’ registration is now open with a 2-part payment plan.

League 1 Ontario is the only league to date that has confirmed its cancellation for the Outdoor 2020 season. They are currently assessing a fall/winter program.
The Club has, and will, communicate every week (since March 19 th ), in order to keep you, our members informed during this tough time. For the most up-to-date information please remember to follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook or visit our COVID19 webpage .
 
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