Ontario Soccer continues to work in consultation with Canada Soccer and the Government of Ontario, as we assist our membership in facilitating a safe Return to Play 2021. Ontario Soccer will keep the membership updated with the most recent developments surrounding the public health crisis, as it relates to our sport.
Thanks to the collective efforts and collaboration of soccer leaders at all levels across Ontario, the Outdoor season 2021 has seen remarkable progress made in our Return to Play efforts with over 160,000 players returning to soccer fields across the Province to Pitch In. Play ON! This represents 60% participation compared to 2019 Outdoor (pre-COVID) and 18% in 2020.
Ontario Soccer and its members have made significant strides towards rebuilding Soccer in Ontario, including the recent announcement of an “Updated Return to Play Guide and Clarification on Proof of Vaccine Requirements and Exemptions”, which allows us to plan for continued safe soccer activities during the upcoming 2021-22 Indoor Season. However, the current circumstances still provides some challenges to operations and planning for events.
Looking ahead to February of 2022, Ontario Soccer has worked closely with our District partner, the Eastern Ontario District Soccer Association, to plan for the Ontario Soccer Summit 2022, as the premier development event in Ontario.
To ensure the feasibility of the return of this Ontario Soccer flagship event, we recently circulated an Ontario Soccer Summit survey to key stakeholders including past delegates to gauge the interest levels and state of readiness of the soccer community to attend the event in Ottawa in February 2022 given current COVID-19 considerations.
The results of this survey indicated that our membership is not yet ready to commit to the Summit as one of their early 2022 event attendance, networking and professional development plans.
Guided by this data, Ontario Soccer has made the decision to delay the hosting of the Ontario Soccer Summit in Ottawa until February 2023.
With further extensive recovery of soccer anticipated in 2022, moving this event to 2023 will provide a vastly enhanced prospect of success and will ensure that the Ontario Soccer Summit will be of the calibre that our members have come to expect from this marquee event.
Ontario Soccer will follow up with the membership in 2022 with further planning details. We are very much looking forward to welcoming many of our members and participants back to this great event weekend in 2023.
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If you have any questions, please contact Bjorn Osieck, Director of Business Operations.
Tag(s): Clubs/Districts News