We hope this finds you, your families, teammates, and coaches all healthy and safe. Please remember that the health and safety of you, your loved ones, and others in your community, are the most important considerations during this time. Soccer will be back. But in the meantime, please make sure you take all the precautions you must to stay healthy and remain safe.
Canada Soccer, in conjunction with the Canada Soccer Sports Medicine Committee, and public health authorities, continue to monitor the situation and we will forward any updates as they are provided to Alberta Soccer.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, and as we remain under the suspension of activities by Canada Soccer, Alberta Soccer wanted to provide you with an update specifically focused on our Technical Department’s programming and activities.
We have postponed all coaching education courses, both Community Stream and Licensing Stream, through May 31st. Our goal is to reschedule as many, if not all, of these courses when the suspension of activity is lifted. But that will depend on the duration of the suspension and the availability of hosts, facilities, and participants as we begin to resume normal activity.
In the interim, we are working with Canada Soccer to offer the classroom components of the Community Stream courses online, so coaches can complete the theory components of those courses during the suspension of activities. We are also developing online delivery of the C License course. Updates on the availability of those courses will be provided shortly.
The postponement of coaching education also includes the postponement of the first weekends of the Youth and Child License courses scheduled for Alberta on March 27-29 and April 3-5, respectively. Those courses are not canceled. Once normal activity resumes, the first weekend of the Youth License course is tentatively scheduled for July 24-26 and the first weekend of the Child License course is tentatively scheduled for June 12-14.
In the meantime, we have posted some links to online coaching education resources which can be completed remotely. These are located on the Alberta Soccer website, at the link located here.
We are also planning to continue our remote, on-line coaching education and awareness sessions. We conducted an informal “Fireside Chat” on April 8, and we will continue with our Technical Department webinar series for the next several weeks. Information on the webinar series and its topics can be found here.
Like Coaching Education, all Grassroots activities (including FUNdamentals Festivals and District Outreach visits) have been postponed through May 31st.
Again, we will try to reschedule as many of these events as possible and cancel events only when absolutely necessary. Our Grassroots team has been in contact with the affected Districts and is working with them on potential rescheduled dates.
One other consideration for Grassroots programming is that there may no longer be a “hard” deadline of June 30 (corresponding to the end of the school year) for Grassroots leagues and programming. Districts may be able to conduct programming through the summer, especially as we are likely to experience a gradual return to normal activity, with families potentially remaining “close to home” and deferring travel and vacations to a later date.
The programming schedules that Districts followed in previous years may be less applicable this year with all these changes to our normal, everyday lives. We are ready to support any Districts if they wish to consider conducting their Grassroots programming into the summer, or Districts that are considering shortened outdoor seasons and competitions.
Our Player Development function has also been impacted by COVID-19 and the suspension of sanctioned soccer activities.
Unfortunately, although understandably, the Arctic Winter Games, which were to be held in Yellowknife on March 15-21, were canceled.
The REX Program for our high-performance 2003-2006 born female players was nearly complete when soccer activities were suspended, and we ended up canceling only a tiny portion (4 sessions) of the program.
The launch of the Alberta Youth Soccer League (AYSL) for the National Youth Club Licensed clubs will be postponed. The kickoff weekend was scheduled for April 4-5 and corresponded with a player identification visit by Canada Soccer, not only for the AYSL teams, but for older male players as well (who were previously scouted and identified Canada Soccer last summer).
Consistent with our other programming, all AYSL games through April 30th are now postponed, but the goal remains to reschedule all the missed games on future dates. We are currently working on contingency plans to the AYSL schedules.
We appreciate how extraordinary and unprecedented our current situation is. And that we are all trying to “figure out” how we manage through these times. However, keep in mind the following practices to remain safe and healthy (from Alberta Health Services):
- Wash your hands often and well.
- Avoid touching your face, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.
- Stay at home and away from others if you are feeling ill.
- Stay at home as much as possible, and practice social distancing when you do leave home: keep at least 6 feet from others when going out for groceries, medical trips and other essential needs.
- Contact your primary health provider or Health Link 811 if you have questions or concerns about your health.
- When sick, cover your cough and sneezes and then wash your hands.
For more information on how to manage through COVID-19, please refer to the following link from Alberta Health Services: https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/topics/Page16944.aspx
All our best,
Alberta Soccer Technical Team