CANMORE – The players of Canmore Minor Soccer wasted no time getting in their kicks as Alberta’s latest public health restrictions ease.
Back on Canmore’s green and grassy Millennium Field Tuesday (June 1), the local club’s programming kicked off, aligning with step one of Alberta’s three-step reopening plan that allows for outdoor physical, performance and recreation activities up to 10 distanced people of all ages.
“With the recent news from the provincial government and Alberta Soccer Association, we're excited to get started and play soccer the way it should be played," said Stephen Steel, president of Canmore Minor Soccer.
"Within just a few weeks, soccer in the Bow Valley should look a lot like soccer did pre-COVID.”
The province boldly calculates a complete lift of all restrictions by late June or early July depending on the numbers of vaccinated people going up and hospitalization numbers going down.
Along with other local sports clubs such as the Canmore Nordic Ski Club, the Canmore Minor Soccer is taking advantage of day one of the reopening.
New additions to the soccer club this season such as a technical director and goalie coach will help develop programming for players aged four to 18. The club offers competitive, rec and house league play.
“We are all systems go and can't wait to see all our members – players, coaches, managers, parents and volunteers out on the fields enjoying soccer,” said Steel. “Our board of directors and administrative staff have been working hard behind the scenes to ensure we make the most of the season and do everything with safety in mind."
The soccer club expects game play to make an anticipated return later this month.
“This season, we are implementing a club-wide philosophy and identity for Canmore FC,” said Marc Geestman, new technical director and coach at Canmore Minor Soccer.
“The main focus for us this summer, is to bring back and share the joy of soccer with the community. It's been a long layoff for some, and having kids back on the field is the most important thing right now. For the competitive teams, the focus is on creativity, bravery and being attack-minded in a possession-based soccer model.”
Step two of Alberta’s reopening is trending toward being a go for June 10, which would allow indoor and outdoor youth and adult sports can resume with no restrictions; recreation centres can open with up to one-third of fire code occupancy; gyms and indoor fitness can open for solo and drop-in activities; and public outdoor gatherings can have to up 150 people with restrictions.
Under step three – expected to occur in late June or early July – all restrictions will be lifted after 70 per cent of eligible people are vaccinated.