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COVID-19 Update 5/4/2020

By OWSC Board, 05/04/20, 12:15PM CDT

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Dear Orono Westonka Soccer Club Families,

We hope you all are staying safe and healthy.  With schools officially closed through the end of the school year and businesses slowly opening back up, the entire U.S. soccer community is juggling many ideas and decisions as it relates to getting our kids back on the field in a safe and timely manner.  We along with many of you cannot wait to get back to playing soccer and have been working on what that will look like in the midst of this unprecedented time.  

We are working closely with MYSA, TCSL, and US Soccer and the plan is to play soccer.  

Will it be delayed?  Yes.  

Will the season go longer into summer?  Likely, yes. 

Will it look the same as year’s past?  No, it will need to be done in a newly defined “safe” environment and it will include new activities we have not done in a typical spring season to make up for the lost time.  Our staff, coaches, and coach advisory group are working on creative and fun ideas to make the season as comprehensive as possible for families with added at home and in-person training activities.

Understandably, we have been getting a variety of questions from club families.  They have ranged from parents wanting a refund all the way to families wanting us to get their kids on the field to play ASAP.  We can understand these questions and the range of emotions everyone is feeling given this uncertain environment.  Ultimately, our goal as a club is to provide soccer training and playing opportunities this summer.  However, we are asking for your continued patience until we have confirmation of a plan.

In full transparency, we are a nonprofit organization that runs with a smaller budget and this shutdown due to COVID-19 is significantly impacting our organization.  We are working very hard behind the scenes to minimize financial losses.  One example of this is recent staff reductions and reallocation of job responsibilities across a leaner team.  We also have an active, working volunteer board that is supporting important programming, planning, and decision making on a regular basis.  

At the same time, we entered 2020 with new fixed costs related to the build-out, lease, and maintenance of the new Welu indoor facility.  In addition, the club is being faced with trying to recoup tournament expenses that we will likely never get back.  These are just a few examples and there are many more we are working on and/or negotiating as we speak to be good stewards of club resources.  

Ultimately, if we were to issue refunds at this point not knowing the final plan for summer it has the potential to be devastating to the future of the club.  Hence, we are asking for your continued support and patience as we work on alternative options and partner with government authorities and MN soccer leagues on the most optimal outcome given these extenuating circumstances.

Now, let’s get to details related to the modified season we are currently planning for:

●      Competitive games are being planned by MYSA and TCSL to start the beginning of June.  On May 18th, if U.S. Club Soccer and MN Governor Walz open up our ability to get on the fields we are provisionally planning to have team practices the last two weeks of May.

●      Lil Lakers Rec Program is provisionally planned to start the beginning of June.

●Supplemental, creative and fun programming to help players get back into great soccer shape

Below is a preview to what our staff, coaches, and coach advisory group are working on to provide soccer training and playing opportunities now and into summer:

●      Facebook Live training with staff and coaches providing support and educational opportunities

●      At-home training plan to get kids ready for field play - watch for communication later this week

●      Evaluating camp dates to decide if we need to postpone and/or adjust

●      Ramping up fitness:  We know the kids haven’t had the opportunity to practice/get ramped up for competitive play and want to make sure we do everything possible to ensure they are as successful as they can be (more details coming soon)

  • Player safety:  Our staff will be collaborating with other local club leaders to discuss health procedures and new ways of playing to ensure consistency and alignment across clubs.  This collective group will also use guidance and input from government authorities and MN soccer leagues.  We are also working on securing more fields/time to help in spacing out practices and games to reduce the number of players on the field at any given time.

We hope families are excited about this supplemental soccer programming.  With that being said, we also understand the times we are living in are uncertain and in no way is this training meant to overwhelm a player.  Therefore, we are asking players to “do what you can”.  If you have questions arise as these opportunities are rolled out, please contact your player’s coach to discuss further.

We are cautiously optimistic about our plans and we are thankful for the continued patience and support of all families.  Please watch email and social media for further details and updates.

Best,

Orono Westonka Soccer Club