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Ontario Soccer witnesses significant shift in governance

By Staff, 06/10/18, 10:30AM EDT


On a weekend where volunteers were in the spotlight, Ontario Soccer finalized a shift in governance that will revolutionize how the game is led in the province

Play. Inspire. Unite. 

This weekend marked a historic moment in the legacy of Ontario Soccer.

At Ontario Soccer’s 117th Annual General Meeting, the final touches were put on a new governance structure that will modernize the Ontario Soccer Board of Directors.

Under the new governance structure, the business of Ontario Soccer will now be conducted by a Board of Directors, composed of 12 elected individuals and one senior staff. Previously the Board had been made up of 21 representatives from each District Association, as well as an elected executive of seven for a Board total of 28.

“Under our old governance structure, the Presidents of the District Associations were in the unenviable position of wearing multiple hats – mostly as a representative of their District and one as a representative of Ontario Soccer,” said Ron Smale, Ontario Soccer President and Chair of the Board of Directors. “This new structure ensures that those who sit on our board are able to focus their sole attention on the business and best interests of Ontario Soccer.”

Additionally, the Ontario Soccer Board of Directors has voted to approve the By-law amendment to create a District President’s Provincial Forum. 

The Forum will be composed of the President, or delegate representing each District Association in Ontario and will submit recommendations to the Ontario Soccer Board of Directors and the CEO on a number of game-related matters of business.

“Our District leaders have their finger on the pulse of the grassroots game and it’s important that we continue to listen to them, through this Forum, on issues, as they arise,” said Johnny Misley, Ontario Soccer Chief Executive Officer. “This is a monumental moment in the history of the game in this province and I credit our Board for having the vision to see these changes through. They have given us the opportunity to make meaningful change here in Ontario and it is an exciting time to be part of the development of our game.”

Over the coming months, the independent nominations committee will begin the process of recruiting and recommending candidates for the new Board of Directors, culminating in elections which will take place on October 14, 2018.    

The weekend was also highlighted by the Centre Circle Awards, which honours volunteers from across the province for their service to the game.

A classy, gala event, this year featured Steven Caldwell, TSN soccer analyst, who led the evening’s festivities.

It was the second year of the refreshed awards program, which expands the current awards structure to reflect a more inclusive and accurate representation of those who exemplify the best in Ontario and who have made outstanding contributions to the game.

“Coaches, clubs, leagues, match officials, administrators and those who have dedicated a lifetime to the game, all had their moment to be honoured in the Centre Circle here this weekend,” said Misley. “Our game is volunteer-driven and it’s important to recognize the sacrifices that each of us makes to help ensure the next generation of athletes can fulfill their soccer goals.”

Visit to find out more about the Centre Circle Awards and read the stories of this year’s winners.