December 31, 2020
As 2020 winds down, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families the best of the Holiday season and a very Happy New Year!
This year and season have been unlike any we have ever seen or could have anticipated.
From the abrupt ending to the 2019-2020 season and all that came with it, no Coastal Cup or Provincials to the cancellation of the Cascadia League season the end of last season was one for the books (or so we thought). It also impacted our evaluations for this season.
Leading up to the summer, Burnaby Girls, like all youth sports, were asked to put together a Return to Play Plan, based on criteria from ViaSport, that had to be approved by the City of Burnaby Parks and Recreation department. Our Club Manager, Lynne, deserves full credit and more for her work on completing our Plan and assisting with those of a couple of local clubs. Without her diligence and hard work there was no way we would have been able to get our teams on the field in June.
Mid summer, we were able to move to Phase 2 of the Plan that allowed our teams to train a bit more aggressively.
The end of summer brought us hope that we might have a season until we learned of restrictions that would limit us to playing teams from within our own district or that of a bordering district. Several of our teams were put into cohorts with teams from the North Shore, which meant road trips to Squamish or Whistler.
In early September, the various leagues made the decision to delay the start of play. This allowed us the opportunity to register a few more players.
I guess it should not have surprised anyone that the first week of play was cancelled due to wildfire smoke that impacted air quality.
Moving through the fall, our teams were able to get back onto the field and play the game, granted in cohorts of no more than 4 teams. The only exception was our Women’s team, The United. They were victims of rules and regulations of the Provincial Health Office and have only played one game. In addition, being an adult team they are, currently, not permitted to train. We are all hoping for good news, come January 8.
Sadly, with the regulations surrounding Covid-19, we had to cancel this year’s Remembrance Day Tournament, but we are optimistic that we will be back at Burnaby Lake West in 2021.
As far as Covid-19 goes, many Burnaby clubs have been touched by this horrible virus. To the best of my knowledge, Burnaby Girls has had a handful of possible cases and, with testing, have eliminated all but one or two cases. We had the possible cases reported to us and took all the proper precautions, telling me that our Plan is doing what it is supposed to. I am happy to report that everyone seems to be doing well.
Total registration for the club is down, this year, primarily because 4 of our 5 Women’s teams decided to sit this season out. We look forward to seeing them back on the field for the 2021-2022 season. On the youth side, we are down a handful, as in 5 or 6 players. This is after some of our players having concerns about Covid and deciding to sit this year our. In all cases, both youth and adult, we respect their decisions and do miss them. Our percentage of players not returning is the best in the district and we should be proud of the job we are doing.
At the time of me writing this, all teams are looking forward to returning to play in mid to late January.
For those who have not read our Return to Play Plan, it can be found on our website. Look at the sliding banners at the top of the home page and click on it when it shows.
How about some good news? For the first time in many years, BGSC were successful in obtaining a Gaming Grant. This will be used to enhance the overall experience for all. For our U7 and younger players, we tried something new. This age group has always been a challenge for us and the other clubs. We introduced the Super Strikers Academy. With Covid, we were unable to use indoor facilities, so all sessions are being held outside. The academy has been split into three phases: September to December, January to March and April to June. It’s a shorter time and financial commitment and has proven to be quite popular and has been noticed by other clubs. This program along with our ongoing Friday Night Academy is provided by our partnership with the Trinity Western Women’s Soccer team. Their team coaching staff supplies expertise in session planning and their current and former players provide coaching. This partnership enables us to give our girls outstanding female mentors, both on and off the soccer field.
In closing, I want to thank all our coaches, managers and, especially, you parents who have stuck with us through this. We look forward to the day when it is all behind us and we can get back to something that resembles normal.
I would also like to thank the club board, both volunteer and paid, who we rely on heavily to keep our club on track.
To quote Dr. Bonnie Henry, our Provincial Health Officer “Be kind, be calm and be safe”
We will get through this.
Happy New Year, Take Care of Yourselves.
All the Best for 2021
Burnaby Girls Soccer Club
2019-20 & 2020-21 seasons.