Soccer players scrimmage at a spring break camp at Karina LeBlanc field on Thursday morning. (Neil Corbett/The News)

Soccer players scrimmage at a spring break camp at Karina LeBlanc field on Thursday morning. (Neil Corbett/The News)

Ridge Meadows club gets quality soccer designation

Provides ‘safe and welcoming environment to participants’

The Ridge Meadows Soccer Club is one of 18 organizations across the province that have been given Canada Soccer’s designation as a Quality Soccer Provider.

“These organizations have worked diligently to achieve the designation and provide a safe and welcoming environment to participants,” said an announcement from BC Soccer.

“RMSC is proud to announce that we have been recognized as a ‘Quality Soccer Provider’ by Canada Soccer,” said a social media post from the club. “This is big step forward to the future to being able to provide more opportunities for players in Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge to grow and develop both as people and players.”

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The Canada Soccer standards for Quality Soccer Providers outline minimum expectations to provide a developmentally appropriate, safe, enjoyable, accessible, inclusive and welcoming playing environment for their participants.

Club operations manager Shauna Williams said it was a positive process to formalize the policies and procedures that ensure kids are having a safe and fun time playing soccer.

“It’s a good exercise for clubs to do that level of self examination,” she said.

She said people around a sports organization might look at wins and trophies as the most important measure of success.

“But if it’s not done in a positive and safe environment… that’s the most important thing.”

By 2023, the Quality Soccer Provider designation will be required for membership in BC Soccer.

“BC Soccer believes that everyone involved in soccer has the right to participate in safe and inclusive environments free of abuse, harassment, discrimination, and to enjoy the sport at whatever level or capacity they participate in,” said a statement from BC Soccer.

“The welfare of everyone involved in soccer is the foremost consideration and in particular, the protection of children in the sport is the responsibility of everyone involved.”

READ ALSO: Maple Ridge coach honoured by Canucks

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