MARCH 22 UPDATE: After this article was published, Vancouver Parks Board closed all sports facilities, including soccer fields, within parks. Other municipalities are expected to do the same in the coming days.
In less than a month, our world and our lives have been turned upside down. Life as we know it has stopped. Our children are not in school. Our jobs have been cancelled or, if lucky, sent to tele-work. Many are in vital jobs in unsafe conditions. Some didn’t even know how crucial their jobs were to Canadians before this.
This is unprecedented. No one is used to this. If you’re confused or uncertain how to handle this, that might be the most normal and understandable reaction of all. I think we’re all feeling this. I believe the priority right now is to take care of yourself, your family, your friends, neighbours and community.
At the moment, this is entirely up to you. You have the directions. If you’ve been abroad or believe you have been exposed, please self-isolate or quarantine. If your neighbours or friends are in need, help them. Stay home most of the time, and when you go out, keep two metres apart from everyone. That’s all that is asked of us to save the lives of Canadians. A million people have told you this by now.
Money is going to come from government at some point. There’s going to be EI and benefits. If you have a mortgage with a bank, they’re flexible. I expect that similar help for renters in BC is going to come soon. It may not be enough, but there will be something. But that’s not what this article is about.
I want to focus on soccer. Because that’s why BC Soccer Web exists, and soccer is the passion that you and I share.
Soccer is postponed. You know this. I know this.
It’s hard in BC and beyond where soccer is a passion and thousands of young players want to play now, and feel invulnerable. Our seasons have been cancelled. Our leagues have postponed cup matches, provincial finals and tryouts for elite teams. It’s a bitter blow where everyone has the desire to play the game. There are parts of the world desperate to finish their seasons for financial reasons. We want to finish ours for passion, pride and for love of the game. But it’s the right call.
What some don’t seem to get is that ALL SOCCER IS OFF.
This was the scene at Vancouver’s Andy Livingstone Park on the weekend.
I keep posting video of the soccer games happening outside my house to show this isn’t a one-time group of people ignoring social distancing orders, but a constant stream of folks who should know better pic.twitter.com/1Hyh7H1BP1
— Justin McElroy (@j_mcelroy) March 21, 2020
The BC Soccer Association and Canada Soccer have prohibited member clubs and associations from all training activities. Every club so far has been good at enforcing this.
But in reality, it doesn’t stop there. The same goes for pickup soccer. BC has banned mass gatherings. Your pickup game is just that. Getting together with your friends for pickup soccer puts everyone involved at risk and everyone they come into contact with as well. It’s irresponsible.
There are still some things you can do. You just have to be your own trainer.
Practice your skills on your own, keeping a safe distance from others. You can use this time to improve and “fall in love with the ball” again. But competitive environments are not on right now from the very top levels of the global game to the park down the street.
Be safe for yourself and be safe for others.
See you on the other side,
BC Soccer Web