Pickering FC
Weekly Update
February 5, 2021
Tell your friends, neighbours and co-workers about the great things happening at Pickering FC!
Dear PFC Family,

This week we’d like to share with you a couple of stories around our virtual training at the Club. Many families will be struggling with the return to school next week while a similar amount will probably be celebrating from the roof tops! The nature of online classrooms is challenging our children, and our teachers, in new and unusual ways so when it comes to coaching sessions online, we can understand the discomfort. 
Story 1

We know that youngsters adapt quickly to change and while as adults we may still be dipping our toes in the water, our kids have already dived right in. Our Director of Grassroots Soccer, Coach Hollie plans a weekly session for ALL Grassroots players (U8-U12) that is dynamic, engaging and fun with almost 50 players joining in each week. That means many players aren’t getting to join in and make the most of their registration. Parents – please make sure your child gets connected, it will be good for them physically, socially and emotionally!

In fact, this week the Club has been running regular screening interviews with team volunteers for the upcoming season. One of those parent volunteers had to take our interview in another room because their child had Hollie’s online session cranked up so loud. If kids are cranking the volume up, you know it’s fun!
Story 2

For our older players you will recall a lot of great webinar sessions during the first lockdown which really showed the great soccer network our technical staff have across the globe. This included; 
  • 4 college coaches, 
  • 2 CWNT players, 
  • 1 former CMNT and Premier League star, 
  • 1 TV celebrity, 
  • 1 CMNT and TFC player and 
  • 1 US State Association Technical Director. 

Over this current lockdown the coaching staff have shifted the focus onto advancing player confidence and maturity discussing areas including goal-setting and team work. One parent shared with us the following after observing their child online last week:

“This club is so professional -these sessions with Coach Dave are great! Definitely don’t get this at some of the other clubs. Also, great job you guys encouraging cameras on and participation”.

Players are openly encouraged to keep their camera on and provide full answers in the chat box while Coach Dave and his staff share extensive soccer and sport psychology. 

From a player we also heard this:
“I wanted to tell you that today’s meeting was very helpful towards building my confidence…Today’s videos and your explanations helped me relax and work on myself. I found everything today very encouraging. I appreciate our hard work”.

Finally, our Club Staff will be reaching out to families by phone over the next 4-6 weeks. We want to touch base on your experiences during 2020 and your thoughts for soccer this Summer. A survey from Ontario Soccer looked promising across the province for 2021 and we’d just like to dig deeper.

In the meantime, keep visiting our website as staff are hard at work creating fresh content ready for this Outdoor 2021 season.
Match Officials
With the renewed lock down in Durham Region at the end of November the Pickering FC moved to virtual education sessions. The next session is Tuesday, February 16 from 6:30-8:00pm and will focus on Match Official communication with team officials, players and the match official crew. In addition, we will have a fitness presentation to help the group stay limber and fit for the start of a new season and to help avoid early season injuries related to conditioning. Although the sessions are created for our active group of Match Officials, we welcome having coaches, parents, match officials from 2019 and those interested in becoming a Match Official in 2021 to join in. If you are interested please email Dave Lord at scheduler@pickeringfc.ca and in the subject line please write Match Official Education session. 

The goal of the Pickering FC is to help our group of match officials become the best that they can be! This will lead to everyone - players, coaches, spectators and match officials - having positive experiences throughout the season.
PFC All Abilities
A Special Friendship
The Pickering Football Club’s All Abilities Coaches are awesome, amazing, and stupendous!! Cuauhtemoc Flores, aka "Coach T" is one of those coaches and has developed a lifelong friendship with an All Abilities athlete beyond the “Soccer Dome.”

“Coach T … He lives right next door to us” says Sarah Milligan. Her son Luke, has attended the All Abilities Soccer Fundamentals Program for the past 6 years. “Luke has such a great personality and now that he is in my group, I can’t wait to see first hand how much he will develop” says Coach T.
Recreational programs including Indoor Rec (U3-U18), Women’s Rec are also in a holding pattern until we can safely return to the dome for games.   

The PFC Recreational programs are delivered on community fields right across the City for players from 3-18 and also includes our popular Women’s Rec League. We support volunteer coaches working with our players at all ages through coaching resources, mentoring and equipment. Pickering FC is the only Club in Durham Region to also offer a training session as well as a game. Each game is officiated by our homegrown talented referees.  
If your child is interested in developing beyond the Recreational level and learning from our well qualified and screened coaching staff then our Grassroots program for players aged between U8-U12 started this week. Our Open House philosophy means that new players wanting to try it are more than welcome. If you are interested in learning please contact our Grassroots Director, Hollie Babut (grassroots@pickeringfc.ca).
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.
Grassroots, Competitive and High-Performance programs continue training on our virtual platform through to the end of the State of Emergency. By then we hope to have a better picture of the coming weeks.  Any missed field sessions will be made up during the break between Indoor and Outdoor (usually April to mid May). We calculated a pro-rated amount per week for every level of play and that will be assessed in late April. At that point we will know exactly how much of our program has not been delivered and this will be refunded to the payee’s credit card.

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. 
PFC Digital Rewards
Governance and Operations
You will recall the Club had started planning for our first ever virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM) on November 18th. Unfortunately, the Club has been overly stretched as a result of the pandemic and preparing the audit in a timely manner has put undue stress on our Club staff and on our auditors. As a result, the PFC Board approved a postponement of the AGM and the presentation of our audited financials until early 2021. This gives everyone a little more time to consider our positions up for election and to think about how you might want to volunteer. Club Secretary, Roz Lavoie is managing this area and can be contacted at secretary@pickeringfc.ca for more information. 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 & 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
Our website will continue to be the ‘go to’ place for all the information you need on program structure, costs and schedules. Compare us to others and you’ll see that professionalism, transparency and quality are important to us - after all this is YOUR Club!