Waterloo Minor Soccer Club (WMSC) and RIM Park were a continuous buzz of activity March 20th – 22nd, 2015 as Ontario Soccer Association (OSA) brought their 2015 Soccer Development Conference to Waterloo. The weekend was enjoyed by members of the soccer community from around the province as well as many international guests.
This event was monumental for both WMSC and the OSA as the conference grew this year from coach focused to including referees and club administrators; all the while relocating to Waterloo for the first time.
Nearly 400 coaches, referees, and club administrators gathered for the weekend to attend classroom and on-field sessions presented by internationally recognized speakers and provincial facilitators. A key aspect of this conference was to bring together the soccer community with the focus on building relationships and facilitating learning for both coaches and players.
WMSC President, Brian Jewett, along with the Board of Directors stressed the importance of coach development as they designated 2015 as “The Year of the Coach.”
“The conference was a tremendous opportunity for our coaches and community to bring some of the best minds in youth development throughout the world to Waterloo,” he said. “Our coaches and players had the opportunity to work with these coaches, observe their sessions, and to train with these experts.”
In addition to the standard conference sessions our club coaches were provided with a unique opportunity to attend an additional training session on the Friday night prior to the conference kick-off. The chance to interact with international coaches provides all involved with tremendous opportunities for the future. As WMSC continues to grow relationships with the Caribbean community coaches from Jamaica, Trinidad, and St. Lucia were invited for the weekend leading to many promising conversations that have the potential to positively impact the lives of many both locally and internationally.
“Our priority in Waterloo Minor Soccer is community based player development at all levels,” said Jewett. “The opportunity to host the conference represented a superb extension to our coaching development initiative and we were thrilled to introduce our city to the soccer community.”
The two pillars of WMSC’s strategy are coach and player development; this event allowed us to fuse the two together in a unique manner. Hosting the conference locally allowed Waterloo United teams to partake in the many activities including on-field sessions with Hope Powell and participating in a Futsal Festival.
In addition to Powell, the OSA presented sessions by Vanessa Martinez-Lagunas, Joe Fletcher, and Carol Anne Chenard as well as many others. A number of these sessions saw standing room only as attendees were eager to participate in as many sessions as possible.
The weekend was an immense success and WMSC looks forward to bringing future coach and player development opportunities to the region through our continued relationship with the Ontario Soccer Association.