Montréal-Nord: Soccer and basketball clubs are getting ready

Montreal North basketball and soccer clubs are preparing for a summer out of the ordinary, and the call of the field is very real among young people, but distancing measures, including a ban on games, are driving many away.

At the Montreal North basketball Club, the enthusiasm for a progressive deconfinement, while waiting for the youngsters to resume their training, the club decided to create a website where they will sell second-hand equipment, shoes, sports bags, etc.

“The first few days, the kids will like it because they’re back, they’ll see their friends, but since there won’t be a game, they’ll get fed up,” says Karim Adjaoud, president of the Montreal North Soccer Club.

Usually, each team plays one game and one practice per week, but until games can be resumed, the club guarantees at least two practices per week.

This may not be enough to attract young people. The number of registrations has dropped drastically. Only 297 young people are currently expected. Last summer, there were 557.

And the number of registered players continues to decline, as some 30 families recently contacted the organizers to cancel their registration, but a dozen others wanted to register their child at the last minute.

“We’re all happy to deconflict our kids,” said Mr. Adjaoud. “I’ve been getting a lot of calls and emails asking when it’s gonna happen. The downside is we’re a little concerned about outbreaks in our club. We don’t want that to happen.”

After observing young people playing with each other in the park, Mr. Adjaoud agrees that it will be difficult to enforce social distancing.

“When it starts playing again and it’s a reunion after two months of confinement, it can’t be applied,” he says.

Learning distancing

The Montreal North Basketball Club attended a training session offered by Public Health in order to learn how to better apply health guidelines in a sports environment.

The community organizer explained, among other things, how to minimize the risk of outbreaks in groups of young people through concrete actions.

“We’re sure going to miss the games,” admits Wensley Naldy Henry, host for a third summer at the club. “We’ve been doing this since we were kids. Given the current circumstances, we understand why we have to take precautions.”

The basketball club plans to have youth in its day camp starting June 29th. Each youth will have his own equipment. Training will encourage individual exercises. Small competitions will be organized to build the spirit of competition.

Safety first

For Coordinator Wilmann Edouard, the safety of young people will take precedence over everything, although he concedes that zero risk “does not exist”.

Mr. Edouard would like to have access to two local schools to accommodate the 80 or so young people enrolled in his day camp.

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