To all players, families, staff and fans of Okanagan FC…
We hope that everybody is well and safe during this unprecedented period of time, as each of us finds a way to navigate a way through the Covid 19 Pandemic. We are all responsible for following all rules and guidelines surrounding physical distancing and responsible behaviour during this time, and if everybody does their part in this we will hopefully start to see signs of a return to normality sooner rather than later.
As it relates to soccer activity in BC, the current situation is very clear. BC Soccer, in accordance with a directive from The Canadian Soccer Association, has suspended all soccer activity in The Province. This relates to matches, practises, events, team building activities…anything that comes under the umbrella of an organised activity which involves groups of people being together. This suspension will remain in place through all of April, for now, and will be reviewed every two weeks. The full details can be viewed at BC Soccer’s website
This doesn’t mean that players cannot go outside with a ball and have a ‘kickabout’, either on their own or with others from within their own family or physical distancing group…and it has been nice to see exactly that happening on our social media sites. Starting this week, we will be starting a twice weekly Instagram story with a brief instructional video and a challenge. The stories will continue throughout the soccer suspension, and we encourage all of you to give it a try as a way to get some touches of the ball, have some fun, and stay connected. Last week’s Instagram story, although very simple, engaged over 60 players….about half of our club. It was fun to watch, and was great to see all of our players, male and female, junior and senior, getting involved. Watch out for the start of the series today and give it a try !
As it relates to Okanagan FC, and our plan to resume all operations when restrictions are lifted….our intention is a full return to normality at the earliest possible time. Like all businesses, we have taken measures to protect ourselves as best we can so that we can return to ‘business as usual’ and provide our players with the same high quality soccer programs that were in place before all of this started. In some respects, as a privately owned youth soccer club which is not part of a larger entity…like a league, for example… we are able to be very flexible with our programs, with the duration of our programs, and with the start and finish dates of our programs.
OFC Junior Academy: Our Spring season was only one week in when we were closed down, and will restart at the earliest possible date with seven weeks left of the program. The venue will be outdoors at Immaculata Regional High School, and the schedule will be the same or very similar…possibly with a slightly later start time.
OFC Goalkeeper Academy, Supplementary Training and OFC Ladies Academy: Our Spring season had not yet begun when we were closed down, so will restart at the earliest possible date with the full 4 weeks left of the program. Sessions will remain on Fridays, and will be outdoors at Immaculata Regional High School.
OFC Development Teams and Youth Teams: These programs were also only one week old when we were closed down, so will therefore restart at the earliest possible date with 17 weeks left of the program. Practise sessions will take place outdoors at Immaculata Regional High School and we are currently working on a schedule for all teams that will give everybody a three times weekly program that will include a strength and conditioning element, as well as a regular supply of full scale inter squad matches. As far as competitive matches go, we will be aiming to provide each of our teams 15-20 matches during the playing phase. We may have to delay building and announcing this playing schedule until we see what the lifting of restrictions looks like. It is very possible that this could be a gradual process, and our matches could well be a series of local, single games…rather than immediately returning to a normal cycle of travelling to The Lower Mainland for major tournaments.
OFC Senior Teams: These are in a slightly different situation, as they do belong to a league and, as such, are governed by the action of the league as to how and when they can restart.
Men’s PCSL team: The Pacific Coast Soccer League have not yet cancelled the season, scheduled to begin on May 9th. The league meets next week to discuss all options, including staging a compressed version of the league later on into the Summer…which we would be very supportive of. The soccer shut down literally happened on the eve of our PCSL tryout, and we were very disappointed to not be able to form the team. However, we remain hopeful that we are going to see some form of senior PCSL soccer action at some point this year. To players who wanted to participate with our PCSL team this year…we suggest that you keep yourself fit and be ready to form a fully competitive team at short notice. We will keep you posted.