Following an intensive process of applications and volunteer training, the Strathmore Soccer Association (SSA) is now licensed by the Canada Soccer Association as a Standard of Quality Soccer provider.
The SSA is now one of only four clubs in Alberta that are nationally licensed. Strathmore was one of three recently recognized clubs, also including the BTB Soccer Academy in Edmonton and the Lethbridge Soccer Association.
The award recognizes the organizations as having developed and complied with Canada Soccer standards of operation. The Quality Soccer Provider designation will become a requirement for membership of Canada Soccer by affiliate organizations in 2023.
“The Strathmore Soccer Association (SSA) is a small club with a big heart and it means a lot to our dedicated technical and administrative team members to accomplish this level of licensing,” said SSA technical director, Ryan Parkins.
“It also took a lot of hard work by those same team members and our dedicated coaches and volunteers. By guaranteeing the quality of our program offerings we reinforce the pride that comes along with wearing the SSA patch.”
Among Canada Soccer’s requirements are to have policies in place to protect children, boast anti-bullying policies and to maintain a certain standard of coaching policies and levels.
SSA administrator, Angie Boyd, said it goes to show that quality soccer programming can be found anywhere from a big city to a small rural community.
“This is huge news for us, but it took a lot of hard work to get here, a lot of dedication from our coaches to reach a certain level of training and our technical admin team really pulled it together to update all of our policies and protocols,” said Boyd.
“I hope that shows our loyal soccer players that they’ve made a really good choice to support local, but also just to help maybe those people who are considering trying soccer into thinking about sticking around close to home, knowing that they’re going to get a high-quality level of soccer programming.”
The announcement of Strathmore’s certification was made on Dec. 15. The hope is that the recognition will attract more players to participate in local programs.
“Hopefully people would consider Strathmore soccer before going to Chestermere or Calgary areas, knowing now that we do have this high standard that we had to achieve,” she said. “We offer quality programming, we have quality coaches and we are putting out quality players. We’re starting to see that now in some of our players who are getting to university age and they are playing at a university level.”
The SSA offers programming for players aged four to 18 and the association is open to the potential for establishing a U19 team, should there be interested players. Low cost, low commitment adult programming is also available for those who want to still be involved beyond the youth teams.
John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times