Glengarry OPDP impact statement (parent)

Written June 23

My daughter has had a love for soccer ever since she was 3 years old. We live in a rural community but soccer like hockey is a very popular sport and she has been playing soccer for almost 10 years. My daughter’s hero is Christine Sinclair like most 12 year old girls and we have gone to many FIFA games in Montreal and Ottawa to help build the love that my daughter has for this sport.

Since the start of this supposed Tier 1 season, my daughter’s team has won every game they’ve played. Our league has always included Ottawa teams and I can say that none of the girls from the big clubs in Ottawa this year include any of the same girls from last year. The Ottawa Player Development Program (OPDP) is where all the Tier 1 players have gone it seems!

This is having a real negative effect on my daughter. Last Monday night as we drove to our game against OSU, my daughter was nervous about playing the known powerhouse of the league. She was saying her team would have to play really hard to win; she could not wait. Needless to say, her team won 6-1, which could have been much higher had we not hit the post multiple times. You would think that another win under the girl’s belts would make them want to celebrate, but instead they felt very badly for the other team. In the car ride home, my daughter said she felt really bad and wished they had not scored as many goals as they did as she felt that the other team must feel terrible. She asked me where the players were from last season, why all the teams were so easy to beat, what has changed?

The goal I have for my daughter’s soccer career is to learn the following: excellent sportsmanship from both winning and especially losing, how to be a team player, that working hard and improving at something you love never ends, that referees can only see what they see and they are humans, and that we have to play hard and overcome challenges.  

Unfortunately, my daughters soccer year 2017 will teach her something else: that rules are NOT made to be followed, that adults are dishonest, that there is a class system and rural communities are not valued based on their team’s skills but instead on how far they are to travel to. She won’t play teams that are better than hers in order to improve her performance; she won’t feel what it is like to win after a really good head-to-head game against the best team - instead she will come to every game expecting to win and feeling sorry for the other team.

Do you remember the sting of defeat and drive to do better and to improve and win? Where is my child’s chance to challenge the better clubs? Why are the rules not being enforced? Why is this injustice being allowed? What is Ontario Soccer doing to deal with this problem? What timelines have you set to resolve this issue? My child will lose this season at U12 - how long before action is taken? Why were we mislead to believe that the teams we are playing are Tier 1? How do these clubs explain to the non-Tier 1 teams the sting of constant defeat?

Exclusion is not acceptable under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom. Why is this reality being permitted by Ontario Soccer?

Donna Dear


  1. Rural, inner city, small town, big city, small community organization, large corporation, etc. all facing each other competitively, while cooperating in civil society (and sports by extension) have been the reasons to continue to believe this is the best country in the world? And having the mechanisms to right the wrongs and the confidence that they will? However, what these 8 OPDP clubs are doing goes completely against that! Sickening! Don't their members realize that?

  2. Anonymous24/5/18

    And now they are hiding under festivals that no one can scrutinize.

  3. Anonymous25/5/18

    Festivals are open to anyone.

    1. Yes, open to anyone to apply; but not open for anyone to appeal (much less review) the possibility of price fixing; schedule fixing; time limit fixing; etc. Consider how long did price-fixing went on for a $5 loaf of bread in Ottawa? 16 years? It does happen. Now, what could a self-regulating festival be capable of doing specially at what? $300 a pop per team? FACT: OPDP did exclude clubs and teams last year, eliminating their commercial competition. Who is to stop them from doing it again? Players, parents, the public are not dumb: freedom to apply is not freedom from high prices or unscrupulous practices. In HR Targeted Selection for interviews there is a principle: Use past behavior to predict future behavior

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  4. Anonymous25/5/18

    Futuro U14s BARELY beat OSU White in the ERSL the other day. I was told that they did not impress.

  5. Very touching post, I feel for so many players and families getting impacted by the selfish approach from the big "elite" clubs as they proclaim themselves. As a coach and parent of a competitive player I think the different organizations being excluded should get together and expose this situation to the public and create awareness to the community. This should start at least within each club, team parents should get together and ask for an extraordinary club meeting, let them know the frustrations, document it as much as possible with data (win record, scores, dates) so that impacted clubs can then share this together and create a formalize complaint with OSA and CSA about what's happening at our district.


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