Pickering FC
COVID-19 Update
October 9, 2020

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Dear PFC Family,

We’re heading back indoors next week and we’ve been working hard to make sure you and your family are up to speed on what that will look like.

Last Friday we held program specific presentations to almost 300 families in our Grassroots, Competitive and High-performance programs. We had previously created a shorter presentation for our Recreational players and parents as well as our 3rd party facility users. Generally speaking, those presentations included:

  1. Summary of the Return to Play protocols as a reminder for current players and to provide new members with the protocols we have operated successfully since July 2nd
  2. Pickering Soccer Centre entry and exit protocols including a thorough plan taking into account staggered field times, multiple entry/exit points, additional third-party users, sanitization and contact tracing protocols.

We answered some great questions in relation to those presentations and have evolved that into an FAQ document. We want the Pickering Soccer Centre protocols to be just, if not more, stringent than required. These helpful resources will provide guidance to families and facility users prior to visiting the Pickering Soccer Centre:

  1. Pickering Soccer Centre Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) that we will update as and when required
  2. Pickering Soccer Centre Entry and Exit protocols. (Thanks to Megan and Paige!) (video)
  3. Pickering Soccer Centre Return to Play Protocol presentation (video)

We have also:
  1. Increased our facility staff numbers during these first few weeks of returning to the dome so we can maintain cleaning levels and assist players coming in and out of the field house.
  2. Acquired additional student help to provide support and guidance.
  3. Offered families or whole teams the opportunity to complete a walk through of the dome prior to their indoor program starting next week.

A huge congratulations to two well-known coaches at the Club who both recently achieved significant coaching honours from Canada Soccer. Firstly, our Grassroots Program Director, Hollie Babut who achieved the Canada Soccer Children’s License. This was the first cohort to complete this brand-new license and she was among a significant group of other well-know coaches from across Ontario. Hollie stated that;

“It was an absolute pleasure to take part in the very first Children’s License delivered by Canada Soccer. A course specifically designed for coaches working with players between the ages of 8-12 years old; offering an in depth look on child development and understanding how to create environments that promote creativity and challenge amongst our youth players. As an active grassroots coach, I’ve enjoyed applying the knowledge gained and believe the information provided to myself and the other candidates will have a positive impact on the game moving forward. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from the experienced learning facilitators as well as my fellow course candidates."
Secondly, our League 1 Men’s Head Coach Paul Martin who reached the pinnacle in coaching with a Canada Soccer National A License. His journey started back in 2017 when the candidates first got together and he shared with PFC that;

“Acquiring the Canadian National A license was a challenge and a journey. I look forward to working with the players at Pickering FC to share the newly acquired knowledge. We worked on a game model for our final project that I am implementing with the existing staff and players. I am pleased to be able to work with the Pickering community going forward”.

For the Indoor Recreational season any players aged 8-12 who would like an additional session to support their game play can register for our excellent Skills Centre. Click the image to register for the Fall Season with a discount of $20 for those booking both Fall and Spring sessions.

We are 50% of the way through our Mini Season 1 of the Indoor Recreational program. Spots are still available for the remaining 5 games and this will get you ready for Mini Season 2. 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.
PFC All Abilities Programs
PFC All Abilities kicks off this month too! Head Coach Jarod and Coaches T, Zain and Sarah are excited to welcome back players with three different playing options this season:

  1. All Abilities Junior and Senior Soccer, our tried and trusted model bringing players together for fun, fitness and friendship every Saturday morning starting October 31, 2020
  2. All Abilities Advanced Skills Program, our new program will enable a limited number of players to experience more advanced training, starts September 22, 2020.
  3. All Abilities Virtual Training Program, following the success of our pandemic sessions we will continue to offer online training for players that are unable to join us on the field. Coach T will be leading our new Virtual Program which starts on October 15th.

Please contact Tammy at allabilities@pickeringfc.ca for more information or to register.
PFC Community Programs
Our popular Community Programs will resume that is September & October.
  • Walk the Dome -resumes on Monday Sept 21 and runs daily from Mon - Thurs from 9 - 11 am
  • Walking Soccer resumes on Tuesday Sept 22 and runs weekly on Tuesdays from 10:30-12:00 pm
  • Adult Drop In Soccer on Sunday nights is temporarily suspended while we build acceptable contact tracing protocols. 

* Covid protocols and participant waivers will be in effect for all community programming
Grassroots Development
If you have questions about the program please contact our Grassroots Director, Hollie Babut (grassroots@pickeringfc.ca) for more details. Players are still more than welcome to register as part of our ongoing Open House and need to be in the system for contact tracing purposes so please contact us directly if you are interested in learning more.

Registration for our U8-U12 Grassroots Development program is now open and can be completed after contact with the Head Coach.

  • 26-week program
  • Weekly league play
  • 2 practices per week
  • Qualified and screened Coaching staff
  • Goalkeeper specialist session
While formal tryouts are now closed we still encourage interested players to contact the Club directly to see which teams have roster space.

Pickering FC runs teams in the Durham Region Soccer League (DRSL) and the Central Soccer League (CSL). Promotion and relegation allow for teams at U13 and up to be promoted from the DRSL into the CSL. The CSL is confirmed to run in 2021 and will cover an area including Toronto, North York, Scarborough and Peterborough in the east. 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.
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 age groups and then for older players they enter League1 Ontario (L1O). These leagues bringing with them a higher cost that reflects the increased training time, coaching level, longer season, uniform and equipment.
Match Officials
The Match Official Committee is working closely with our technical Staff to not only ensure the new Laws of the Game that came into play this Summer are introduced but to also enforce the Ontario Soccer COVID-19 related restrictions to play. These can be found on page 18-24 here and include areas such as:

  • No throw-ins
  • No Spitting
  • No handshakes or high-fives
  • No heading
Governance and Operations
For the first time in our Clubs history our Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held virtually. On Wednesday November 18th we will use the Web Ex platform to provide the Board Reports, Audited Financial and other key component of the AGM including Board elections. Our Club Secretary, Roz Lavoie is working hard on putting this together and at this time we can share the Board positions up for election:  

  • President - 2 year term and nominee must be a current Board member 
  • Treasurer - 1 year term and should possess accounting knowledge, skills and experience 
  • Secretary - 2 year term 
  • Director at Large - Full Field Recreational Soccer - 2 year term 
  • Director at Large - Boys' Competitive Soccer - 2 year term 
  • Director at Large - Girls' Competitive Soccer - 1 year term 
  • Director at Large - Special Projects - 2 year term

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. 
Our 30th consecutive Weekly Update is supported by ongoing updates and stories through our Twitter, Instagram or Facebook platforms. 

Stay safe.
Matt Greenwood, Executive Director