WMSC COVID-19 UPDATE (July 31st)

Waterloo Minor Soccer Club
July 31st, 2020

Although there was no soccer for three and a half months, the Waterloo Minor Soccer Club never stopped working. The Club spent this time diligently working in the background to make sure that we were ready for when soccer returned. This meant having numerous Zoom calls, Google meetings, info sessions, planning sessions, and internal/external collaboration.

The first task on hand was communication. This was and continues to be vitally important in making sure that our membership understands what is happening within the Club and our programs. WMSC worked hard on making sure to share as much information as possible but also as soon as we received it from the soccer authorities and the government. 

The second duty was financials. Closure of such magnitude has had a dramatic effect on the Club, like many other businesses and families. Meetings around this topic included WMSC staff and the Club’s Board of Directors. 

WMSC worked on implementing strict management of the 2020 budget in the best way possible. This was so that the Club would be aligned to come out of the pandemic as financially healthy as possible. This was done by applying for CEWS and applying for a number of grants. One grant that WMSC was successful in applying for was with the Canadian Red Cross. The Canadian Red Cross Grant has helped the Club purchase PPE equipment, sanitizing products, signage, hire part-time skills instructors and soccer equipment in order to get back onto the field. Grants like these are crucial to the financial health of the Club. 

Previous to COVID-19, the Club also received the Canada Summer Jobs Grant which was able to provide summer employment opportunities for students. These students assist with our ‘Return to Play’ protocols and WMSC summer camps. WMSC has managed to reduce expenses while continuing to be financially responsible within our Club operations.  

The third area was the Clubs ‘Return to Play’ Guide. This was a very large task, the document has been created with the direction from Ontario Soccer. The Club’s guide is thorough and comprehensive enough that it ensures all of the Club’s participants are back playing soccer in a safe and enjoyable environment. 

WMSC knows how much everyone wanted to get back onto the field but only when it was safe to do so, and that is why this document is so critical. WMSC staff uses this guide to set up the fields while following the daily protocols of ‘Return to Play’. This includes a daily health checklist for each player, contact tracing, sanitization of all equipment, and social distancing. The Club’s Technical Staff created a curriculum to follow the new guidelines and we have had staff at each practice to ensure everything is being followed. The Club is moving into the next phases of soccer, and we will be able to create new session plans but will only do so as long as it is safe for the players, coaches, and staff on-site! 

On behalf of the Waterloo Minor Soccer Club, I would like to personally thank everyone at the Club for their continued support and encouragement throughout the pandemic. We know that this is a difficult time for everyone and we want to be able to provide the best experience possible to help people get through this. I would also like to thank Ontario Soccer, Canada Soccer, and the many other Soccer Clubs that we have collaborated with during the closure. The soccer community has really come together in this time of need and shows that we have an important role to play not just in the game of soccer but in all of our communities. The City of Waterloo has also been a very good partner in this process by keeping us up to date with news regarding fields, facilities, and providing guidance on safety measures. 

Finally, I would like to thank the club staff and the Board of Directors. Although most people don’t see it, the staff has been and continues working very hard to get soccer going again. It wouldn’t be possible without their dedication. The Board of Directors has been there to support the staff during this process and their help is greatly appreciated.

Although we have put in countless hours to get soccer going again, we know that the work is not done yet. We will continue to adapt our programming and be creative within our delivery to provide a safe, fun, and inclusive environment so we can all get through this together.

Focused. Driven. United.

Again, I thank you all.

Paul Burns
Executive Director
Waterloo Minor Soccer Club