Pickering FC
COVID-19 Update
September 18, 2020
Dear PFC Family,

The week ahead is National Coaches Week (Sept 19th-27th). Our Coaches are the critical link between your family experience with the Club and all of the planning that goes on behind the scenes. Of course, no one could have planned for the year we’ve experienced to date and our coaches have adjusted, adapted, pivoted along with us to ensure we stay connected. Any good educator knows that learning is ongoing and doesn’t stop once you get your diploma, certificate or award. We all quickly learned about online delivery and how best to connect with our players and parents from a distance. PFC wants to say a big, and sincere thank you to our coaching staff and team managers for the countless, unseen hours they’ve put in since our world changed!

We encourage you and your child to take a minute and give your Coach a shout out either by; direct email, Sports Engine app, or on social media for the whole world to see (don’t forget to use the hash tags #ThanksCoach and #PFCProud. We all know that a short message of appreciation can be a huge boost to morale and especially at times like this.

A clear flow of information was established early on by Dave and Hollie that ensured your Club was connected from the coaching staff to parents and players. As we enter this phase of try-outs, open houses and recreational kick-off the communication between us all is more critical then ever. We continue to populate the website with as much information as possible but if you have any doubts please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
As we promised last week, we will provide Members with a series of Town Hall presentations in late September to review:
  1. Program outlines for the Indoor season including schedule, fees and credit/refund plans should a second wave occur.
  2. Pickering Soccer Centre entry and exit protocols. As you can imagine, our planning needs to be thorough and will need to take into account staggered field times, multiple entry/exit points, additional third-party users, sanitization and contact tracing protocols.

Our Return to Play strategy has worked very well so far and we continue to focus on not ‘dropping our guard’, but that’s also a team effort. If you see something that doesn’t look right please let your Coach know and we can address it. Our Pickering Soccer Centre protocols will be just as, if not more, stringent and we look forward to sharing those with you soon.
The 2020-2021 Indoor program is OPEN FOR REGISTRATION and kicks off on September 20th. (due to last weeks rain delay). Make sure you register ASAP to ensure your child is placed on a team. 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.

Pickering Football Club is one of the few Clubs that offers a game AND practice each week during the Outdoor season. For the Indoor Recreational season any players aged 8-12 who would like an additional session to support the 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.
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. Start date TBC.

Please contact our All Abilities program coordinator at allabilities@pickeringfc.a 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 9am - 11am
  • Walking Soccer resumes on Tuesday Sept 22 and runs weekly on Tuesdays from 10:30-noon.
  • Adult Drop In Soccer on Sunday nights from 8:30-10pm begin October 4th

* Covid protocols and participant waivers will be in effect for all community programming
Indoor Women's League
Our popular Women’s Indoor League is back and spots are filling up fast! Contact details are included below so please reach out to us quickly to book your spot.
Grassroots Development
Did You Know: An Open House is the correct phrase, and appropriate environment for U8-U12 players to experience a new program and decide if it is right for them? Players are not ‘selected’ or ‘cut’ because there is a place for everyone and emotionally children at this age shouldn’t be graded because player development is non-linear.

Led by our talented Grassroots Director, Hollie Babut (grassroots@pickeringfc.ca), this program has never been in better shape. Players are still more than welcome to register and join our Open House but need to be in the system for contact tracing purposes so please click image to register for our Open Houses:
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
Did you know: 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?

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 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.

Click image to register for Tryouts:
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.

We can now confirm following announcements this week:
  • League 1 Ontario have cancelled their planned Fall season and will now focus on 2021 planning.  
  • OPDL have cancelled the planned season and is now discussing with license holders the potential to run a series of regionalised games until November. Click the image below to register for 2021 tryouts.
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 COVID19 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
Our PFC AGM is to be held on November 18th at the Pickering Soccer Centre (subject to COVID19 requirements). In the coming weeks we will highlight available Board positions and the timelines to apply. In addition, we will begin the recruitment of our Standing Committees for:
  • 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. 
Don’t forget, our Return to Play strategy is available on the PFC website under our COVIVD-19 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 27th consecutive Weekly Update is supported by ongoing updates and stories through our Twitter, Instagram or Facebook platforms. 

Stay safe.
Matt Greenwood, Executive Director