The Fort Frances Youth Soccer club (FFYS) announced on its Facebook page last week that it will be cancelling its soccer season for the summer.
The news comes a week after Borderland Soccer also decided to bench their season after holding out hope that they would have the chance to play.
Alissia Starling, who acts as secretary for the FFYS, said with the restrictions from the Ontario Soccer Association and the Northwestern Health Unit, it would have been impossible to have a decent season.
“We finally made the call because usually we’d be starting pretty soon with getting registrations done and all the planning for it done,” Starling said.
Last year Starling said they had completed registration and she was even beginning to set the teams when lockdown began. Instead of getting ready for the season, the club was figuring out how to refund registration fees.
The club is mostly run by volunteers, Starling said, adding that because of this there is not a huge financial loss.
With two summers now gone, Starling said they are trying to come up with alternative plans.
“We’re hoping that we can do something even in the winter, having indoor soccer just to get out there again,” Starling said. “Hopefully restrictions lesson up just so we can do something or next year we’re hoping to maybe even do a longer season or try to get something better going.”
Along with possibly having indoor soccer, Starling said they are also looking into the possibility of having short camps.
Missing two summers of playing time is not the club's only concern; the border closure prevents players from International Falls from coming over into Fort Frances.
Starling, who lives in International Falls, said the club is planning next season with the hope that the border will be open.
“With the vaccine coming out there’s a lot more hope that this will be better next year and that everything will get back to a little bit more normal,” Starling said.
Natali Trivuncic, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort Frances Times