Play. Inspire. Unite.
On Thursday, Vaughan MPP Steven Del Duca congratulated Ontario Soccer on receiving two Ontario Trillium Foundation grants last month totalling $444,500.
“Investing in community-based organizations like Ontario Soccer with grants from the Ontario Trillium Foundation improve existing infrastructure and develop extensive new training programs for the promotion of healthy living. I applaud Ontario Soccer on their dedication in encouraging an active lifestyle and the OTF for recognizing their vision and commitment to the community,” said Steven Del Duca, MPP for Vaughan.
Ontario Soccer has received a $150,000 Capital grant to install a new HVAC system in the Ontario Soccer Centre, and a Provincial Impact grant of $294,500 over three years to continue developing its Long-Term Match Officials Development plan for referees.
“The mission of the Ontario Trillium Foundation is similar to Ontario Soccer’s goals. We seek to build healthy and vibrant communities throughout Ontario by strengthening and developing our soccer membership and program services,” said Johnny Misley, Ontario Soccer Chief Executive Officer. “On behalf of Ontario Soccer, we thank the Ontario Trillium Foundation for recognizing Ontario Soccer and supporting our innovative Match Official long-term development initiative and the much-needed facility equipment upgrade.”
The Capital grant will be used at the Ontario Soccer Centre, enabling it to replace four existing original units that were installed in 1997, servicing the indoor field area. The new equipment will help the Centre lower its energy use and carbon footprint by up to 40 per cent by employing the most up to date technology available. The Centre is home to four local soccer clubs, is used for community rentals and several indoor leagues including the youth provincial indoor league, the Ontario Women’s Soccer League, the Ontario Soccer League, the Ontario Player Development League and League1 Ontario in servicing over 950,000 visitors annually. It will also allow the Ontario Soccer Centre to lower its energy use and carbon footprint by up to 40 per cent by employing the most up to date technology available.
“This upgrade will allow the Ontario Soccer Centre to use the indoor field during extreme weather alert days, thereby increasing the healthy active living participant numbers by 150,000 participants over the summer months bringing total visitors to 1.1 million annually,” said Mike Giona, Ontario Soccer Centre General Manager. “New programs, which include Walking Soccer for seniors and those undergoing physical therapy, as well as games cancelled for vulnerable age divisions during extreme heat, can be scheduled at the Ontario Soccer Centre for a safe alternative and to maintain their active lifestyle.”
From 2012-2015, Ontario Soccer reviewed the delivery of its Match Officials Development programming, and determined that the role of Match Officials in soccer, as meaningful participants, must be better identify and developed. The Provincial Impact grant will help provide improved programming for Match Officials and enhanced infrastructure to support their development.
As a result of extensive outreach, focus groups, surveys and consultation with the soccer and sports community, an evidence based program - Long Term Officials Development (LTOD) Phase 1 was created and delivered in 2017 to all 21 District Soccer Associations.
Match Officials Development pathways were aligned with Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) pathways, creating cohesion and development consistency throughout soccer programming.
In 2018, Ontario Soccer’s focus is on expanding and enhancing LTOD Phase 2 to include 7,000 local Club Match Officials, 500 volunteers and 850 Development Support Team members.
The LTOD plan will receive $294,500 over three years that will go towards higher quality programming for referees and infrastructure to support their development.
“We’re thrilled to have received the funding to support this crucial programming,” said Nicky Pearson, Ontario Soccer Manager of Match Official Development. “Through strong leadership provided at the Provincial, District and Club levels, and through inclusivity and a clearly defined structure, LTOD Phase 2 will advance Club Match Officials the same way that LTAD has, and continues to develop and advance Players and Coaches.”
An agency of the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is one of Canada’s largest granting foundations. With a budget of over $136 million, OTF awards grants to some 1,000 projects every year to build healthy and vibrant Ontario communities. www.otf.ca