May 14-15, 2022.
After a three year hiatus the Ontario Para Sport Games were back. Teams from Pickering and North Mississauga battled through three games together with NMSC winning 2 and sharing a tie. The final game was treated as the grand final and NMSC continued to have the upper hand with Golden Boot winner Fatlum Elshani scoring both goals in a 2-0 win.
Beyond the result this event closed the loop on what had been a fantastic weekend of learning just 7 days prior at the Lake Joe course. All but two of the players had been in attendance at the camp and the match official team had been there too. Enabling everyone to put that new knowledge into action was a perfect end to the indoor season.
After a long, hard winter season that culminated in silver for the Pickering FC team they were given the option to break until the July 1st Canada Day weekend and recharge their batteries. The reaction was completely the opposite, ‘What?No, we want to keep going, when can we start training again’. This was incredible to see as a coach. From a group of energetic, sociable players learning a new sport they had been transformed into a driven, determined team hungry for more.
Next steps for this exciting pool of players from the Greater Toronto Area will be further development towards a representative team for Ontario and Canada. With growing opportunities for competition across the Americas a concerted effort will be needed to attract funds from sponsors and fundraising.
With the introduction of teams in London and Cambridge the pool will grow wider and deeper enabling the 2023 hosts in Durham Region to meet and exceed the excellent standards set by the City of Mississauga.