The North Bay Youth Soccer Club and the Nipissing District Soccer Club are going in two different directions this spring.
The North Bay Youth Soccer Club has announced it is cancelling its 2021 programming.
"The North Bay Youth Soccer Board met and after weeks of deliberation agreed unanimously to cancel our 2021 summer league due to COVID-19," a social media post by the North Bay Youth Soccer Club stated.
"The driving factor behind this decision was ultimately our responsibility for the health and safety of our participants, spectators, coaches and officials.
"The many challenges associated with operating our league, while complying with the current provincial COVID-19 Regulations was also discussed at length. It should be noted that we consulted with the Nipissing Parry Sound District Health Unit during our deliberations and they were very helpful in providing us with information that assisted us with our decision-making process."
While the North Bay Youth Club has made its decision, the Nipissing District Soccer Club is moving forward with its programming again this summer and in fact, they will be offering it to a larger age group.
Mark Hopper, President of the Nipissing District Soccer Club, says they will be offering soccer for youth as young as four years old for limited registration due to COVID-19 restrictions.
"We are going to offer mini Lakers soccer from the ages of U-4 to U12," said Hopper.
"They are going to have a training component one day above U6 but everyone will have soccer on Monday and Wednesday if we are able to.
"It is an exciting step for our club that we are able to open the vastness of that and it would not happen without the hard work of our board and our volunteer coaches and everybody involved."
Hopper says Last summer, following through with an approved Return-To-Play document, the Nipissing District Soccer Club was able to get the green light to run a season last summer for ages U-7 to Adult.
Hopper takes pride in what the club was able to achieve last summer.
"We were the only club in the northeast from U7 all the way to adults with high functionality," noted Hopper.
"Other clubs did not even look at the Return-to-Play document or considered it the north and we have. We just have to maintain that.
"Sport teaches you so many things; critical thought, problem-solving and having a social connection with other young athletes; it is really important that if we follow safety protocols and do everything we can as volunteers of the club that we can a safe place for kids to have positivity in these tough times and I think we are doing a good job."
Hopper adds that U13 to U16 boys selects teams are still looking for more players.
For more information go to https://www.ndsoccer.ca/