Soccability Canada was incorporated as a not for profit in November 2020. A volunteer board oversees the projects and planning of the organization. We see this endeavor as a passion project rather than a side hustle. Our vision is to fill the gap where support and guidance for soccer organizations is often lacking. We seek out opportunities to collaborate with others and do this outside of our full-time career paths.
Lead for the program is Matt Greenwood who works as the Executive Director of the Pickering Football Club since October 2016. He has the chance to see on a daily basis the important role and inherent challenges that grassroots, community clubs have to deliver quality, affordable programs. When it comes to inclusive and accessible programs these are often met with more hurdles because club leaders are fearful of cost, liability or the added duty of care. When done properly the impact we have can be striking and no better example of this can be found than the All Abilities program at Pickering FC. Established in 2008 and developed through key strategic funding and academic partners by a former Board Member the program continues to inspire and inform.
During almost a decade covering a variety of roles with Ontario Soccer he found most success in the role of Club Development Manager. While acquiring almost $1.5m in grant funding for projects addressing New Canadians, disability, concussions and risk management his main legacy was the creation of the Club Excellence Award. Building on the Charter Standard program from the U.K. the Club Excellence Award was widely adopted by Ontario’s youth soccer clubs and ran from 2007-2019. During this program delivery much was learned about the needs and dynamics of Clubs and the best way to assess them with a strong focus on collaboration and engagement. Canada Soccer took this model and rolled out the National Youth License in 2018.
From an accessible soccer perspective the number of clubs offering programs in Ontario grew from 5 to 19 prior to my departure. Since 2016 it has fallen out of focus.
During his spare time he is a dedicated coach and committed advocate for the growth of inclusive and accessible soccer programs across Ontario and Canada in any form including as coach of the Pickering Blind Soccer team
During every session and interaction we learn a little more to grow our expertise in disability football in an effort to expedite the roll-out of accessible soccer programs and ensure a program exists in every club. This will be a true reflection of the communities in which we live and we’re happy to share that insight here.