Let the games begin: Moose Mountain Soccer moving forward despite COVID-19 challenges

With the return to outdoor sports this year, Moose Mountain Soccer has been adjusting to the new restrictions and trying to make the most out of this season. 

They have been hosting weekly practices and are also planning to play games before this season is over. However, it has been a challenging season for the club, as plenty of new changes have emerged due to COVID-19. 

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The length of the soccer season was shortened by several weeks. Usually, the season runs for about eight weeks, but because the Moose Mountain Soccer Club board did not expect regulations to allow for games any time soon, they decided to reduce the season to four weeks.

There was also a drop in numbers — with the total number of registered kids being 53 for this season—and changes to the way that practices were co-ordinated. They could no longer have parents on the field, and the kids had to physically distance themselves and stay within their cohorts/teams.  

However, despite the low numbers, shortened season, and COVID policies, the club remains positive. 

“It’s been an adventure. We’ve got a new board…the kids seem to be having fun, [and we have] lots of new kids this year who have never played soccer,” said Krista Dolphin, the vice-president of the Moose Mountain Soccer board.

Dolphin explained that not only are there new kids and a new board, but kids from several different communities, including ones from Kisbey, Manor, Arcola, Carlyle, and White Bear. Therefore, despite having to change the way practices are done, there were many positive aspects of this season. 

In addition to being able to participate in sports again during practice, the kids in Moose Mountain Soccer Club will now also be able to play games because of the recent changes to outdoor sports regulations. 

“Basically, Saskatchewan Soccer Association told us this week that we’ll be able to schedule games after May 30th, which is after our season was supposed to end … we decided as a board that we are going to try and schedule some games and we’re excited about that opportunity,” said Scott Kirkness, a Moose Mountain Soccer Club board member.

Both board members felt that this year was a learning period, where players, parents and coaches showed resilience and adaptability.

Kirkness observed: “Overall, we’re just really grateful that we were able to run a season this year. It wouldn’t have been possible last year…and we’re excited about next year.” 

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