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The OPDL Spotlight Series - Richmond Hill

By OSA News, 05/31/16, 5:45PM EDT


Richmond Hill Soccer Club has proudly been part of the OPDL since its inaugural season. They now have six OPDL squads with a staff that consists of five Nationally Licensed coaches. Their Club has enjoyed a great deal of success on the field in 2015, as their 2001 Boys captured the first ever Charity Shield and 18 of their OPDL players were identified for Provincial Program screening.

Why is it important for your club to be part of OPDL?

I feel it is important for RHSC to be part of the OPDL for a variety of reasons. Firstly, it ensures we offer a high performance pathway for our Club’s top athletes who wish to participate at an elite level. Since the OPDL is a standards based league, it guarantees RHSC continues to comply with best practices in terms of programming, administration, and governance. Our participation in the league exposes our younger players to a high performance environment and also provides incentive for coaches to continue their education and offers them additional coaching opportunities.

How do you educate parents of younger players about your OPDL program?

Educating parents within our Club about the OPDL has been a work in progress and is something I feel we are getting better at each year. We highlight the OPDL in our monthly newsletters and utilize social media to keep members informed of all the exciting action taking place within the league. In addition to conducting information nights for parents, we also educate our Grassroots coaches about the OPDL so they in turn can discuss the program with their teams. Above all, we encourage our Club’s players to get out to an OPDL game and experience the league for themselves.

What impact has the OPDL program made on your club overall?

The overall impact the OPDL has made on our Club has been positive and far-reaching. Being an OPDL licence holder means RHSC adheres to the high standards established by the OSA. It allows us to attract players interested in playing at an elite level, but at the same time ensures all players in our Grassroots programs, regardless of their aspirations, are trained in an environment compliant with LTPD principles. Being in the league also allows RHSC to attract top level coaches, and through supporting continued coaching education, provide them a pathway to coach at a higher level.

What is something people should know about your OPDL program specifically?

People should know that RHSC has been committed to meeting, and where possible, exceeding the minimum OPDL requirements from the inception of the league. We have always had female coaches involved with our female teams and employed coaches that exceed the minimum licencing standards as both head and assistant coaches. In addition to this, we provide our players with an opportunity to play on top notch turf and grass fields, and work tirelessly to instill a fantastic sense of community where all 6 of our teams and their staff work together to create a positive learning environment for our players.

What have you not been asked, that you’d like to share?

My involvement with the OPDL has been an overwhelmingly positive experience. I am a parent of two boys in the league, have been a board member during the OPDL’s introduction, and am now a coach, so I have had interactions on a variety of levels. I love how the league demands high standards be met by its licence holders and that despite inevitable growing pains, everyone involved is persevering in the name of providing learning opportunities for our players. I encourage anyone with the ability to play at the OPDL level to pursue their dreams and to go for it.

Nadine Powell, 2002 OPDL Girls Head Coach

Nadine has been involved in RHSC’s OPDL program from the start, beginning with her involvement in the licence application.

She has worked as an assistant coach for both our 2001 and 2002 girls, and after earning her National B Licence last year, Nadine has assumed head coaching duties for our 2002 girls. She loves working with the players in the program, as well as all the coaches and personnel that make up the RHSC family.