Pickering FC
COVID-19 Update
May 8, 2020
Dear PFC Family,
 
We know this week was tough – someone in the neighbourhood cut their lawn and your mind jumped to a pristine soccer field with crisp white lines and dazzling nets that just cried out for you to take a ball out and have a kick around.
 
We were there thinking the same thing, BUT we’re thankful that you resisted, stayed home and stayed safe to protect others and especially our frontline workers.
 
As talk about a phased transition back to the ‘new normal’ builds momentum we are realistic about the fact that sport is not high on people’s priority list right now. Our Return to Play plan is just starting to evolve and we’ll be working hard with City staff to get things right. We will also communicate clearly with players, parents, coaches and match officials on this RTP as it gets approved.
 
In the past weeks we’ve focused on our players and a ‘Call to Action’ so this week let’s celebrate some fantastic signs of local support that mirror our five Club Values.

Community
  • Last Saturday, with excellent planning and a couple of test runs, Board Member and Head Coach Barry Donnelly was able to lead over 60 cars on a tour of key locations in the City to celebrate our fantastic frontline workers. Plenty of home-made banners, flags and scarves were flying high as we visited Ajax-Pickering Hospital, Durham Region Police Services at Kingston/Brock, Orchard Villa LTC Home, Pickering Ambulance Station on Finch Avenue and finally the Paramedic Services on Kingston Road. We are grateful for the work they do every day and their exceptional bravery in this time of need. Many club members have connections with these locations, either though family or simply benefiting from their service so this was our small way to show our thanks. We hope the horn honking and shouts of thank you were well received and gave everyone a boost.

  • Our Walking Soccer group (Fridays at 10:30am) and our All Abilities group (Saturday at 10:30am) enjoy some essential social time each week led by fantastic volunteers on the secure WebEx platform. For details on both please contact Tammy at allabilities@pickeringfc.ca

  • Our Small Sided Game course is now FULL! But there is still time to become a referee! Ontario Soccer is currently offering the Entry Level Referee course as online learning formats. We have a few spaces open on each course. Contact Dave at admin-rec@pickeringfc.ca

Respect
Last week we told you about U9 player Ellie and her Pet Food, Toy and Supplies Drive. This week we hope you’ve seen the story of Charlie that appeared on our Facebook thread. Charlie is an incredible volunteer coach each Saturday morning with our All Abilities program. Charlie has been putting his 3D printer to good use making braces for the back of face masks and donating them to our local hospital. Thank you, Charlie, for making us all #PFCProud .
Congratulations to Hannah Rahman who has been awarded the City of Pickering's Civic Youth Volunteer Award. Over the last 3 years, Hannah has contributed over 200 volunteer hours with our PFC All Abilities Program. The program offers children and youth with intellectual and/or physical disabilities an opportunity to participate in specially designed recreational opportunities and is widely regarded as the best soccer program of its kind in Canada!

Not only is Hannah a dedicated member, she also volunteers with her school as a teachers assistant, office assistant, library and kindergarten helper. In addition, she remains a regular volunteer at the Pickering Museum and assists with yearly campaigns supporting a local woman’s shelter and foodbank. What makes Hannah even more remarkable, is that she is in grade 8 and her hours do not count towards her high school volunteer requirements.

We are very fortunate that Hannah has chosen the Pickering Football Clubs All Abilities Program to volunteer her time with. She is providing important support to children with disabilities while being a role model for other volunteers.
Excellence
  • The Club has now committed to using Cisco WebEx for all webinar and classroom sessions with teams. There were growing concerns about the security with Zoom so all Head Coaches are to only use WebEx for team sessions (the free version has limitless minutes at this time).

  • This week we hosted another two fantastic guest speakers who shared their experiences from the top-flight of Canadian soccer with PFC coaches and players.
 
  • Nichelle Prince, Houston Dash and Canada Women’s National Team (with thanks to Women’s Head Coach Paul Deabreu for leading the interview)
  • Rob Gale, Head Coach of CPL team Valour FC and former CMNT U20 Head Coach
Nichelle Prince m
Rob Gale
  • Please stay in touch with your Head Coach for access details to each session. We’re taking a proactive approach to keeping our kids safe while they’re online with PFC Staff. Our new PFC Webinar Policy is aimed at protecting our attendees and can be viewed HERE.
Player Centered
  • This week we’ve received compliments from former Canada Women’s National Team player Carmelina Moscato on our efforts to keep players engaged. From her knowledge of the game and current landscape no other club is offering the content that we are at that makes us #PFCProud.
 
  • Our connection with YOU the membership last week:
  • Recreational Training - 72 players
  • Grassroots Training - 166 players
  • Frontline Appreciation Tour – 100+ members
  • Player Webinars - 193
  • Coaches Meeting - 23 coaches
  • AND team training with head coaches
  • Our Recreational Virtual Training is proving to be a HUGE SUCCESS as we enter week three. Please register in advance at the link below for a $1 down. Open to all registered Indoor 2019 and Outdoor 2020 Recreational players. Don’t forget our PFC Play at Home program is a downloadable work book packed with practices and puzzles.

  • Grassroots players in our Development (U8-U12) don’t forget your weekly sessions led by Coach Hollie (Tuesdays at 5pm) and Coach Trey (Thursdays at 5pm). Details are available from your Head Coach and players are welcome to join in on both sessions.

  • Ball Drop Off! We’re still out in the community delivering new balls to newly registered players who hadn’t got a ball to start their practice. 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).
Transparency and Integrity
  • The PFC Board are assessing appropriate directions for program fees and in regular contact with other Clubs in the area. 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. As a recap;
  • Indoor Competitive programs that had remaining sessions we still hope to complete during the Outdoor season. Head Coaches are being asked to plan accordingly and providing substantial online engagement.
  • Competitive Outdoor season will run and we will assess the cost/deliverables as soon as the picture becomes clearer from our host leagues. We are now starting to hear provisional plans from OPDL and DRSL leaders. 
  • Outdoor Recreational season will run and meet its objectives with some festival type and/or multiple games in a week. The Clubs ‘Dollar Down’ registration is now open with a 2-part payment plan.
 
  • In the best interests of transparency, we want you to know work has begun on a Return to Play strategy for the Club. We’re naturally bound by the regulations of the City and of Ontario Soccer but we want to focus positively on what a return will look like. This will include variations for; indoor/outdoor field locations, between age groups, coach to player interaction, equipment cleaning, physical spacing for spectators and many more adaptations. We will seek the best examples from across sport and society, and we’re also open to your input. Feel free to email us at memberservices@pickeringfc.ca with the Subject line ‘RTP’ and your suggestions.
 
 
The Club has now communicated consistently since March 19 th (incl. March 24 th , April 2 nd , 9 th ,17 th , 24 th and May 1 st ) and we’re incredibly proud to be connected during this tough time.
 
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