United growing in leaps and bounds

By Don Fennell

Published 4:40 PDT, Thu April 1, 2021

Last Updated: 2:13 PDT, Wed May 12, 2021

With its stated mission to “help all our soccer players realize their sporting potential,” Richmond United Soccer Club officials are encouraged they’ll bounce back quickly from the global pandemic that has impacted everyone’s lives.

“As we come out of the pandemic and the restrictions that are associated with it, our club has had a 80 per cent increase in registration when compared to pre-pandemic numbers,” says Mandhir Punia, director of soccer operations. “Our spring program, which offers programming for all players of all levels, has several age groups and teams that are full. Our new boys’ program has several teams and age groups that are also full. And we have very limited space remaining for players to join our spring program. We are equally excited that many of the players have already committed to our fall program.”

During the pandemic, United re-assessed its program and canvassed families for feedback on what they were looking for in a soccer club.

“We not only listened, we’ve acted upon the feedback,” Punia explains. “The big action items involve enhanced communication and more details about our approach to player development.”

“Our club development model of providing professional coaching to all players every week was not readily known outside of our club,” he continues. “Sharing this information more broadly has resulted in a significant increase in new player registration. Keeping our membership well informed and updated on our COVID-19 protocols and league and programming updates was also very well received.”

Punia is heartened that one the most common compliments received related to the club’s attention to keeping all coaches, players and volunteers safe.

“(People) appreciated the strict enforcement of our COVID-19 screening tools, hand sanitizing, mask requirements, social distancing requirements and use of designated entry and exit gates.”  

Punia is anticipating a further uptake in new registration for United’s fall program as players/families continue to share their positive feedback on the club, its philosophy, and its player and team development model. 

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