Whitecaps expand partnership

Last weekend, at BC Soccer’s 2009 Annual General Meeting, the BC Soccer Association and Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced plans for an expanded partnership. The proposed BC Soccer-Vancouver Whitecaps FC partnership will provide for shared resources and collaboration in the areas of soccer development, specifically high performance player development, community development (including facilities), and business development. “As primary stakeholders for the sport in British Columbia, BC Soccer and the Whitecaps recognize we have an important role to play in supporting the larger soccer community as it adapts to change by supporting club investments and leading the way in planning, cooperation, and execution,” said Steve Reed, outgoing president and Chair of the Board of Directors of BC Soccer. “We are committed to delivering program offerings and community support to engage the next generation of players, coaches, referees and other soccer leaders, including the thousands of volunteers in the provincial system." Reed and newly-elected president & Board Chair Charlie Cuzzetto indicated the letter of intent to create an expanded partnership for the future is designed to respond to a series of shared marketplace concerns, including (a) the growing need for community club resources and services, especially in the areas of grassroots development, coaching development and refereeing development; (b) the duplication of high performance resources; and (c) the requirements of Long-Term Player Development and regional delivery of a “Player First” philosophy. “We’re pleased to be developing an expanded strategic partnership with BC Soccer, which aims to synergize grassroots programs with high performance player development, and is ultimately designed to support club development through effective regional delivery,” said Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi. In the coming months, the Whitecaps will join BC Soccer in consulting with member districts, clubs, leagues, and other stakeholders (including the Canadian Soccer Association) to ensure that the strategic partnership best serves all facets of soccer development. A comprehensive, three-phase rollout of the strategic partnership will be detailed in a formal agreement to be completed and announced this fall. “By building a partnership that is functional, understandable, positive, and accountable, we will build the capacity and resources for our game to ensure optimal growth in the years to come,” added Cuzzetto. For more information on BC Soccer, visit bcsoccer.net.