2021 - GTYSC Community News!, News (Grimsby Town Youth Soccer Club)

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2021 - GTYSC Community News!
Submitted By GTYSC Administrator on Friday, April 16, 2021
Kim Heersink (GTYSC President) and Mike Crinson (GTYSC Vice President) were interviewed by the Grimsby Lincoln News, with regards to the impact of COVID-19 on youth sports in 2021.  The interview was published on April 15th.

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Red card, yellow card? Grimsby soccer planning for whatever COVID colour we’re in

Local sports leagues hoping they’ll be able to play this summer, though it may look different than usual


Luke Edwards

Grimsby Lincoln News

Thursday, April 15, 2021

 

Kim Heersink can’t wait to get back on to the pitch and she’s very much not alone.

Last week she sent an email to her Grimsby Town Youth Soccer Club women’s team members, updating them on the latest news about the upcoming season. The responses were quick and decisive.

“A bunch of them already responded: ‘can’t wait’, ‘can’t wait’, ‘can’t wait’,” said Heersink, who plays in the club’s adult women’s league and is also president of the club.

Despite the latest lockdown measures in place as a result of surging COVID-19 cases, Heersink and vice-president Michael Crinson are both confident there will be a season for the popular GTYSC. In a normal summer the club would have about 1,500 to 1,800 players from four years old to adults, Heersink said.

The league is an important physical and social outlet for locals, Crinson said. He has two kids who play, one is in Grade 8 and the other is in her university years.

“It gives them a chance on a soccer field to meet kids that don’t go to the same school as them, make new friends,” he said. “They love the interaction and the complete diversion from whatever else is going on in their lives.”

The club cancelled last season after it became obvious the pandemic was going to make playing impossible.

But with a better understanding of the virus and the prospects of better days ahead as vaccines get into the arms of Ontarians, the club is optimistic for a 2021 season.

“That’s the plan. Exactly what we can do will depend on whether we’re red, orange, green, yellow or lockdown or grey,” said Crinson. “That’s where all the problems arise, is trying to figure out what can we do. But we’re trying to get ready so we can at least have a few games if not a whole season.”

Maximum numbers will be a potential issue. A cap of 50 people in a league could be a challenge, especially for older leagues that have 20 players on each squad.

“(We’re trying to) come up with innovative ways where we can still have games that are different every week,” Crinson said.

Heersink said they’re hoping to get an increase on that cap, but are developing plans for caps of 50 or 100 people per league, as well as for various levels of restrictions.

The season would normally start at the end of May, but they’ve already decided to push that back to the start of June. Crinson said they remain optimistic that’s still doable, though with the latest lockdown a further delay is possible.

In the meantime, there’s lots to do to prepare. The club is also looking for volunteers and are currently accepting registrations for players. Anyone interesting in playing and/or volunteering can visit grimsbysoccer.com for more information.

The club won’t require payment until they know for sure they can go ahead with a season.

Other leagues are also optimistic there will be some kind of season this summer. With the recent lockdown announcement and stay-at-home order the Grimsby Tennis Club has put things on hold.

“The executive committee is in regular contact and it is our hope to open the club as soon as we can,” said the club’s Christina Davidson in an email. “Last year we saw a record number of members, as many decided to try playing tennis. We are hoping for something similar this year.”


Local baseball leagues have also signalled their intention to play in 2021 provided provincial rules allow, with registration for the Grimsby Baseball League, West Niagara Nationals Baseball League, Jordan Lions Minor Softball and Beamsville Minor Baseball Association all open.


Story behind the story

With social and recreational activities still hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic, reporter Luke Edwards checked in with local sports groups to see what their plans were for the summer.

Luke Edwards is a reporter for Niagara this Week, covering north Niagara, and editor for Niagara Farmers' Monthly. You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook.


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