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Ontario Soccer – The first grant will go towards the Long Term Development of Match Officials, while the second will assist with facility upgrades at the Ontario Soccer Centre

April 26, 2018

Vaughan, ON – On Thursday, Vaughan MPP Steven Del Duca congratulated Ontario Soccer on receiving two Ontario Trillium Foundation grants last month totalling $444,500. Ontario Soccer has received a $150,000 Capital grant to install a new HVAC system in the Ontario Soccer Centre, and a Provincial Impact grant of $294,500 over three years to continue developing its Long-Term Match Official Development plan for referees.

“Investing in community-based organizations like Ontario Soccer with grants from the Ontario Trillium Foundation improve existing infrastructure and develop extensive new training programs for the promotion of healthy living.  I applaud Ontario Soccer on their dedication in encouraging an active lifestyle and the OTF for recognizing their vision and commitment to the community,” said Steven Del Duca, MPP for Vaughan.

“The mission of the Ontario Trillium Foundation is similar to Ontario Soccer’s goals. We seek to build healthy and vibrant communities throughout Ontario by strengthening and developing our soccer membership and program services,” said Johnny Misley, Ontario Soccer Chief Executive Officer. “On behalf of Ontario Soccer, we thank the Ontario Trillium Foundation for recognizing Ontario Soccer and supporting our innovative Match Official long-term development initiative and the much-needed facility equipment upgrade.”

The Capital grant will be used at the Ontario Soccer Centre, enabling it to replace four existing original units that were installed in 1997, servicing the indoor field area. The new equipment will help the Centre lower its energy use and carbon footprint by up to 40 per cent by employing the most up to date technology available. The Centre is home to four local soccer clubs, is used for community rentals and several indoor leagues including the youth provincial indoor league, the Ontario Women’s Soccer League, the Ontario Soccer League, the Ontario Player Development League and League1 Ontario in servicing over 950,000 visitors annually.

“This upgrade will allow the Ontario Soccer Centre to use the indoor field during extreme weather alert days, thereby increasing the healthy active living participant numbers by 150,000 participants over the summer months bringing total visitors to 1.1 million annually,” said Mike Giona, Ontario Soccer Centre General Manager. “New programs, which include Walking Soccer for seniors and those undergoing physical therapy, as well as games cancelled for vulnerable age divisions during extreme heat, can be scheduled at the Ontario Soccer Centre for a safe alternative and to maintain their active lifestyle.”

From 2012-2015, Ontario Soccer reviewed the delivery of its Match Officials development programming, and determined the role of officials in soccer as meaningful participants must be better recruited and developed. The Provincial Impact grant will help provide improved programming for referees and infrastructure to support development.

“We’re thrilled to have received the funding to support this crucial programming,” said Nicky Pearson, Ontario Soccer Manager of Match Official Development. “Through strong leadership provided at the Provincial, District and Club levels, and through inclusivity and a clearly defined structure, LTOD Phase 2 will advance Club Match Officials the same way that LTAD has, and continues to develop and advance Players and Coaches.”

About Ontario Trillium Foundation

An agency of the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is one of Canada’s largest granting foundations. With a budget of over $136 million, OTF awards grants to some 1,000 projects every year to build healthy and vibrant Ontario communities.

About Ontario Soccer

Founded in 1901, Ontario Soccer is the largest provincial sports organization in Canada. Its members include 21 District Associations, more than 650 Clubs, 45 private academies, servicing over 24,000 teams with 403,000 registered players, 70,000 coaches and managers, and 9,500 match officials. Ontario Soccer develops and delivers exceptional and sustainable programs and services throughout Ontario with the mission of providing leadership and support for the advancement of soccer in collaboration and cooperation with our membership, partners and other stakeholders. Ontario Soccer also operates League1 Ontario, a provincial professional-amateur men’s and women’s league as well as the Ontario Player Development League (OPDL), the province’s youth premier development league.

Media Contact 

Ben Rycroft | Communications Manager | Ontario Soccer | | 905-264-9390 x 255