President’s Update – May 2020

It has been 10 weeks since we received the suspension order of all in-person soccer activity from BC Soccer, as directed by Canada Soccer. Now that BC has moved into Phase 2 of its COVID-19 pandemic response, it seemed a good time to provide an update about what we do know.

BC SOCCER’S RETURN TO PLAY PLAN

BC Soccer has been working on a plan to get players back on the field while remaining compliant with Canada Soccer’s ‘return to play’ guidelines. The Guidelines include physical distancing for training, limiting the number of players participating in training activities, and the continued restriction of game play. Conversations are ongoing and we are hopeful that BC Soccer will provide clear direction for all clubs in the coming weeks. In the interim, we are continuing with our free, weekly technical sessions on Zoom (instructions via emails), and we have provided some training resources and videos on our Bays at Home page for players wanting to keep their skills up.

As part of the COVID-19 fall-out, the Youth Provincial Championships tournament that was scheduled for July was formally cancelled last week. While not unexpected, it is still a big disappointment for the three teams who worked so hard during the season to face off against BC’s top teams. I want all of the players and coaches to know how proud we are of their achievements. Your hard work, commitment and drive is what made you a successful team and that cannot be taken away from you. I’d like to call you all out by name – congratulations to:

GU17 Victoria United GU16 VIPL Surge BU14 VIPL Surge
Coach: Justin Parish Coach: Vikram Virk Coach: Rich Fast
Mira Blakely Olivia Beatty Finn Archer
Ava Dryden Katie Bentley Thomas Beames
Anna Hedji Mika Bolli Ben Bogdanovich
Brianna Henderson Emma Francis-Kuhn Myles Bolli
Elizabeth Hyde Olivia Friesen Tyler Browne
Alexis Newton (Pen.) Lorelei Goodfellow (Gorge) James Burnett
Taylor Novak Ella Hayes Matias Emery
Claire Pontefract Maddy Hope-Irwin (Gorge) Benjamin Emes
Mackenzie Porter Sophie Larouche Liam Fast
Cydney Rogers (Pen.) Makena Lee Gabriel Frketic
Julia Sahota (PLSC) Lori Machielse Owen Lewis
Emily Sahota (PLSC) Jade McKee Nieson Oduro (Pen.)
Aisha Stockholder Prosser Mya Morgan Callum Paterson (Pen.)
Anitia Truter (Pen.) Sam Mundell Tor Singso
Halle Walch Tess Sawkins Milkyas Tesfamariam (Pen.)
Shreya Sivakumar Matyas Tesfamariam (Pen.)
Kelsey Thexton (Gorge) Jack Vallance
2020/21 SEASON PROGRAMMING

At this point in time, it seems highly unlikely that Bays will kick off a “normal” season starting in September, but that isn’t stopping us from looking at other program opportunities to keep players’ skills up while we await a global vaccine. Program information will be shared with all members once determined, and we have the go-ahead to train responsibly on fields from BC Soccer. For families that have been hit hard economically during the pandemic, please know that we can work with you to ensure your family can participate.

A reminder of Bays’ new PowerUp site for registration, which provides family profiles and personalized program offerings (based on age group). We encourage you to create a family profile, which will help us keep our membership lists current. Sign-up instructions are here if you need them.

OBH FIELD

There has been much discussion recently about when the turf field at Oak Bay High will be replaced. While we don’t have any definitive timelines, we are confident that it will be completed by the end of summer. Astroturf is committed to replacing the mat surface that failed prematurely, and we remain confident that the mat and TPE infill are still the best and safest playing surface choice. We look forward to this facility coming back into use.

COACH TRAINING

At Bays United, all coaches are required to take courses and certification to help them deliver the best soccer program for players. This year, BC Soccer is offering an online portion of the training now, which will be followed by on-field training to complete certification, when conditions permit. These FREE courses do not require a big time commitment, and coaches are asked to complete the course(s) relevant to them at the BC Soccer website.Additionally, there is a mandatory training to recognize and manage concussions. This online course is also FREE and takes approximately 45 minutes to complete.

SHARING GOOD NEWS

Check out the new Hall of Fame page on Bays’ website, where we recognize the significant achievements of players and teams past and present. Share with your soccer enthusiast to show them how far they can go if they work hard and persevere with passion.If you’re not following Bays on social media, check us out at baysunited on Facebook and @baysunitedfc on Instagram. We’d love to share photos of your players in the back yard and keeping their skills up during the pandemic. Send your photos to communications@baysunited.ca or tag us in your posts.

CLOSING

We are so thankful to the Bays community for supporting community soccer, while taking the necessary steps to keep our players and families safe during the COVID pandemic. To say these are unprecedented times is an understatement, but together, we will come back stronger and ready to play!

On behalf of our Board of Directors and everyone at Bays – we wish you well and look forward to seeing our players back on the field.

Sincerely,

Howard McElderry
President, Bays United