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Ontario Soccer announces Dairy Farmers of Ontario as a Community Partner

By Staff, 06/14/21, 11:45AM EDT


Under the banner of its innovative MilkUP campaign, DFO will collaborate with Ontario Soccer to launch new MilkUp Future Leaders Awards and Bursary Program

Play. Inspire. Unite. 

Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO), representing Ontario’s 3,400+ dairy producers and their families, has joined Ontario Soccer as a Community Partner and the exclusive title partner of the “MilkUP Ontario Soccer Future Leaders Program.”

“The MilkUp program was created to have a meaningful, measurable and enduring effect on Youth sports across the province and to drive awareness of the benefits of milk in a healthy, active lifestyle – no matter what age, said Cheryl Smith, CEO of Dairy Farmers of Ontario.  “Organizations like Ontario Soccer do great work supporting local Youth and partnering with them allows us support them, too. Every dollar that goes into this program represents direct investment from a real person – a dairy farmer - and we are very proud of the support we provide to Youth activity and opportunity, where they live and work.”

Ontario Soccer is thrilled for the support DFO will bring to youth leadership development. “We have learned over the last 15 months that our Youth were among the most negatively affected by all the COVID restrictions, however, we have also heard many inspiring stories of Youth resilience and leadership to overcome these challenges,” stated Johnny Misley, Chief Executive Officer, Ontario Soccer.

“We gladly welcome DFO to our partner family, which will go a long way to give further vital support to our Youth via the MilkUP Ontario Soccer Future Leaders Program to celebrate, recognize and develop these outstanding youngsters. This could not have come at a better time as we get ready to Return to Play and we thank a great organization like DFO for seeing the value in the development of our members,” he added.

Created to support the education and development of Youth leaders within Ontario Soccer, the MilkUP Ontario Soccer Future Leaders Program takes a holistic approach to leadership recognition and development, with an emphasis on growth. The program is based on three pillars of celebration, recognition and development to support Ontario Soccer Youth leaders.  

Celebration: The MilkUP Ontario Soccer Future Leaders Award and Education Grant celebrates the outstanding achievements of Youth in the soccer community. The award strives to actively acknowledge the selfless display of civic care, pride in one’s sport and leadership, an attitude of resilience and strong work ethic, and constant desire for impact and improvement. It will be awarded annually as a new addition to Ontario Soccer’s prestigious annual Centre Circle Awards program.

This category recognizes Youth in their graduating year of high school, who have made an outstanding impact on the local soccer community as a leader, player, coach, match official, or administrator. The Education Grant included with this award is $2,500 per recipient.

Recognition: The MilkUP Ontario Soccer Future Leaders “Class of ‘21” recognizes the achievements and impact of Youth in the soccer community. Award winners will embody the Ontario Soccer tagline of “Play. Inspire. Unite.” in both their soccer community and their home community. The “Class of 21” awardees will have an attitude of resilience, and a strong work ethic. They will have future aspirations of leadership within the ‘beautiful game,’ continuing their journey of soccer involvement and contribution.

This category recognizes Youth, who will continue to contribute to the local soccer community as a leader, player, coach, match official, or administrator and includes a $500 grant to be used for soccer leadership education (coach, match official, etc.)

Development: The MilkUP Ontario Soccer Future Leaders Day @ the Summit will run in conjunction with the Ontario Soccer Summit. The Future Leaders Day will bring together Youth from across the province to develop in areas of leadership, interpersonal communication, relationship management, and more.

More information on how to apply for each of these exciting new awards will be made available on the Ontario Soccer Website soon. Please click here for more details for The MilkUP Ontario Soccer Future Leaders Award and Education Grant Application