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How COVID-19 has affected the Oakville Soccer Club

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How COVID-19 has affected the Oakville Soccer Club

Like their rugby counterparts the Crusaders, the Oakville Soccer Club (OSC) was compelled to shut down due to the COVID-19 outbreak. All activities and use of its facilities are suspended indefinitely. At this time, no member has tested positive for COVID-19.

Despite the club being shut down, the OSC is finding ways to keep everyone active.

“The Oakville Soccer Club is offering online, live, free soccer sessions,” said Katryna Indewey, Director of Marketing & Communications at OSC. “We also have some fitness sessions, footwork sessions, yoga sessions, and they’re live on our Facebook page every week.”

 

The OSC Facebook page is public, and you do not need a Facebook account to watch any of the videos.

The Club is unsure how and when the club will re-open its doors for business.

“It’s all going to be very heavily contingent on so many external factors which will be government guidelines and Ontario Soccer guidelines,” elaborated Indewey. “The safety of players is always going to be paramount. We need to make sure before we do anything that we can return to play and training in a responsible manner. Obviously as much as we would like to get back to the position we were once in, we don’t want to seek to rush that at the expense of health and safety.”

OSC plans to ensure things will eventually return to the status prior to the lockdown, but the process will take time. OSC is a non-profit organization, meaning the Club’s income is based on player and program registrations, as well as facility usage.

“We’re not government-funded,” said Indewey. “Our revenues are from player registrations, sponsorship, and facility rentals. It all comes from participation and usage.”

Despite the closure of the Club, OSC maintains excellent relationships with their sponsors.

“We have a member offers page on our website, so sponsors that have promotions going on right now can share their offers,” said Indewey. “We encourage everybody to take advantage of them safely, but there are a lot of things happening in the community and people who are still providing essential services.”

Oakville Soccer Club Crest

As part of the Club’s attempts to keep the public, as well as its members interested in soccer during the quarantine, OSC set up a live Facebook interview with arguably the most famous OSC alum, Diana Matheson. Matheson has appeared for Canada 206 time, 183 of which were starts. She helped Canada win the 2010 CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup, the Pan Am Gold in 2011, as well as Olympic Bronze in 2012 & 2016. Matheson is best known for scoring the bronze-medal winning goal against France in the 2012 Olympics. A big part of the interview focused on Matheson’s experiences as a professional soccer player and her giving advice. One piece of advice she gave during the call was regarding how to stay active during these strange times.

“We’re not in-season,” said Matheson. “Find the things that you actually want to do that you enjoy doing; that you feel better after you’ve done them, and lean more into those things because we don’t have a game this weekend; we don’t need to be soccer-ready. It’s just important to stay happy and healthy.”

Once players are cleared to train at the club, OSC will modify their programs to ensure that health guidelines are followed for the safety of the players. Training sessions will look different, but the Club’s number one priority is keeping players, coaches, and staff safe.

“Our number one priority is player, parent, coach, staff, and volunteer safety,” said Indewey. “It’ll take as long as it takes to make sure we do it right. We’re a big entity; we have a big soccer centre, and we want to make sure we do everything safely to protect not just our players, but the community.”

Since the Club was created in 1972, OSC has become an important part of Oakville. All they want is to get back on the pitch, play soccer, and have some fun.

 

To learn more about OSC’s programs and services, and for information about registering for future programs, check out the Club’s website.

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