Soccer Quest programming begins this weekend; KYSA planning July restart

Soccer Quest and the Kamloops Youth Soccer Association are tailoring programming to pandemic-related guidelines provided earlier this month by B.C. Soccer, which has produced return-to-play protocol in conjunction with viaSport.

Jamie Spendlove, technical director for Soccer Quest, has informed parents that groups will be small and all activities will be individually based to respect physically distancing guidelines.

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A Soccer Quest press release this week noted programming for ages three through 12 kicks off on Saturday on Pronto Field, next to the Tk’emlups te Secéwpemc Powwow Grounds at Highway 5 and Shuswap Road.

“Our programs follow all return-to-play guidelines set by B.C. Soccer, Canada Soccer and the Provincial Health Organization,” the press release states. “We are nearing capacity at each age, so if you wish to register, you must do so quickly.”

Read more about the program, which runs to Aug. 29, at soccerquest.ca.

KYSA technical director Ciaran McMahon expects programming to begin the week of July 6.

“We want to get out and on the field as soon as we can, in the most responsible way that we can,” McMahon said.

B.C. Soccer physical-distancing guidelines note there must be six feet between people and gatherings are limited to 50 or fewer people per regular-size, 11 vs. 11 field.

The KYSA has been working to determine field allocation with the City of Kamloops, which has its own government-issued facility guidelines to follow.

McMahon said he is aiming to work with the city to paint lines on fields that will help players and coaches maintain distancing.

The KYSA’s community season has been cancelled, but McMahon said he expects some sort of mini-seasons and academy programming to be offered in July, August and September.

Meanwhile, the select program remains active, with modified intra-city play becoming a possibility if restrictions continue to be eased in the next few months.

Regional play will not be allowed prior to Sept. 1 under current viaSport guidelines.

“Assuming all goes well and we can transition to contact and competitive play, we may work in some type of regional league come September,” McMahon said.

For those not comfortable with in-person training, the KYSA is planning to offer online virtual training.

Baseball B.C and B.C. Soccer are among the provincial sports organizations that have stated their current insurance does not cover COVID-19.

“We’re looking at an opt-in waiver,” McMahon said, noting staff, coaches and players will be educated on distancing, equipment and playing environment guidelines. “We’re trying to provide something for everybody to give them their soccer fix at a schedule that works for them through the summer and early fall.”

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