A young Huggon High Performance soccer player participates in a ladder drill on Thursday morning. (Ronan O’Doherty - THE NEWS)

Soccer during Covid scare

Small soccer camp continues but Ridge Meadows’ West Coast FC ceases activity

While many organized sporting activities are out of commission during the Covid-19 scare, Huggon High Performance Soccer Camp is still kicking.

“It’s small enough that I don’t come under any of the jurisdictions and BC soccer has no rule over me at all, so I just went for it and the parent are so happy,” lead instructor, Russ Huggon said on Wednesday (March 18).

“I only had two of 18 kids pull out.”

The former pro has a tent and table set up at Samuel Robertson Technical’s outdoor field from March 16 to 20.

To be safe, he is restricting much of the drills to on-ball activity, so the athletes are kept at a safe distance from each other.

“There’s hand sanitizer there and we’re not high touching or high-fiving each other,” he said.

“So far I’ve had a really good response from the parents and the kids.

“I let them know, this isn’t babysitting. It’s high performance and their kids are working hard.”

Ridge Meadows soccer as a whole has come to a grinding halt.

Its largest organization, West Coast Auto Group Football Club, has take direction from BC Soccer and suspended all soccer activity for the short term.

Club President, Mike Savignano, said much of the spring programming is in jeopardy.

“At this point in the season, a number of teams were getting ready to play in the Coastal Cup, which was slated to begin at the beginning of April,” he said.

The spring program, which begins in the middle of April and runs for three months is also up in the air.

“It’s kind of a wait-and-see approach for us,” he said.

“Like many of our counterparts in your sport, our primary concern is the health and safety of our members but more broadly, from the vantage point of the community at large, we’re quite concerned with the health and safety of not only our members but their families and the community at large.”

Savignano said there may be some ramifications of sports not being available to kids.

“I do think there will be some impacts to kids that need an outlet to get some physical activity and to get some social interaction, so it’s a double whammy,” he said.

“The longer this pandemic progresses and the less people are getting out there and interacting with each other, you’re going to see a bigger social impact.

“Over time, the more you’re secluded and isolated from contact and from your community, it can have an impact on our social and mental well being for sure.”

At a time where we are all being directed to limit social interactions, it is most difficult on kids, who might not grasp the severity of the pandemic issue.

“I know as a father dealing with my own kids, trying to convince them staying home is the best policy right now, isn’t always the easiest message to get across,” Savignano said.


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