VAUGHAN, ON — It’s summer time in Ontario and soccer is in full swing, but a number of dedicated Clubs added one more special event to their busy calendars — the Ontario Soccer Association’s 1st Club Development Conference held on July 23-24, 2011 at the Hilton Suites and Conference Centre in Markham.
The Club Excellence Awards presentation was originally conceived as a banquet to honour the 2011 Club Excellence Award recipients, but the event subsequently morphed into a two-day conference where Clubs and Districts were able to share knowledge, participate in organizational development workshops and network with some of The OSA’s community partners.
Clubs came from across the Province and there continues to be an overwhelming amount of positive feedback on the Club Development Program from all attendees.
Day 1 of the Conference was packed with 3 sessions of carefully selected Club Development Workshops.
Brett Knox of The OSA and Alan Hollingsworth of HKMB Hub International teamed up to deliver a Risk Management workshop specifically around The OSA’s insurance coverage and to field commonly asked questions for Clubs and Districts. The response to this workshop was tremendous as the 90-minute presentation quickly surpassed the time allotted.
The second session was a split presentation addressing the issues of Harassment. Roland Vidal of Respect Group Inc. was able to provide an overview of the Respect in Soccer program and the significance this program can play in helping leaders of the game.
Joyce Stewart of the OSA, complemented this presentation by addressing Harassment on a club administrative level, discussing issues of risk, liability and policies associated with running a club and or district.
The workshop portion of the day concluded with a lighter presentation from Janice Arnoldi, Robin McPherson and Judy Sims of arnoldi:mcpherson and CanSport Live who provided participants of this workshop an opportunity to learn about some of the tools available to appropriately develop and market their organization through effective social media strategies and an attractive website.
Saturday evening showcased the 1st annual Club Excellence Awards Banquet. Recipients included new applicants to the Club Excellence program as well as those that have gone through the renewal process for 2011-2013.
As the Master of Ceremonies for the event, Anthony Totera graciously beguiled the audience with his passionate comments during the guest presentations and the spontaneous question-and-answer session with guest speaker, Kara Lang.
With introductions by the Club Development team, participants also took the opportunity to connect with some of The OSA’s community initiative partners. Attendees were able to interact and engage with each of the presenters who provided information about the All Star Snack Playbook from the Hamilton Health Unit, the Play, Live, Be Tobacco Free opportunities with the Regional Municipality of York and the work that Active Living Alliance is doing across Ontario with The OSA to bring awareness around the issue of Accessibility.
The Club Excellence Awards Banquet also had on display some soccer-related initiatives that deserve more exposure for their positive soccer significance.
The Ontario Para Soccer team was showcased for their hard work at the 2011 CP-ISRA World Champions, where they finished 12th overall and proudly represented Canada.
Street Soccer Canada was also in attendance and were called upon to talk about the significant impact soccer plays in the lives of even the most unfortunate. Their moving stories showed just how strong an influence “The Beautiful Game” has on people from all walks of life.
At the conclusion of a delicious 4-course meal, the 2011 Club Excellence Awards in their respective levels were awarded to:
Aurora youth S.C.
Burlington Youth S.C.
Erin Mills S.C.
Glen Shields S.C.
Kleinburg Nobleton S.C.
Milton Soccer Academy
Newmarket United S.C.
Capital United S.C.
Cataraqui Clippers S.C.
Lakehead Express S.C.
West Rouge S.C.
Whitby Iroquois S.C.
Windsor F.C. Nationals
Ancaster Youth S.C.
Carleton Place S.C.
East Gwillimbury S.C.
Fergus Elora S.C.
Kemptville District S.C.
King City Royals
Maple Leaf-Cavan FC- Bronze
Milton Youth S.C.
Nepean City S.C.
North Toronto S.C.
Oshawa Turul S.C.
Perth United S.C.
Scarborough Women’s United S.C.
Four new awards were also handed out. Uwe Samstage-Schnock from Milton Soccer Academy and Karen Bajic from Georgetown Soccer Club were awarded the Volunteer Appreciation Honourable Mention Award for their continuous hard work and dedication to their organizations and to soccer as whole.
John Brown from Oshawa Turual Soccer Club was awarded the 2011 Volunteer Appreciation Award for his outstanding volunteer contribution that has gone above and beyond the call of duty.
The 2011 District Recognition Award was given to York Region Soccer Association, for their immense support to their clubs and for the Club Excellence program.
The evening was filled with passionate support for all volunteers, clubs and districts involved in the game of soccer in Ontario.
As a wrap-up to the weekend, the Club Development Team offered one last workshop on Sunday morning with the help of the Club Excellence Gold Clubs in attendance.
This workshop gave clubs and districts the opportunity to share best practices and listen to some of the ways issues concerning facilities and Long-Term Player Development (LTPD) were handled by some of their neighbouring clubs.
The positive feedback and gracious support from all involved in the 1st Club Development Conference was overpowering. The Club Development team looks forward to next year’s Club Development Conference and working with more of Ontario’s Soccer Clubs and District Association.
Reported by Charonne Thomasos / OSA Club Development
Video by Wolf Ruck / OSA
Filed under: Academies, Club and Team News, Competitions & Special Events, District News, The OSA News, Volunteers Related Posts: Coaches Mark Your Calendars: Nov. 7-8 Conference | Annual Coaching Conference 2013 | Club Development Weekend An Overwhelming Success. | West Ottawa Soccer Development Conference | 2007 Play Soccer Conference Wrap-up |