Health & Wellness


At NorWest Soccer, we recognize there are many kinds of diversity in our midst. We want to do our best to ensure our participants, volunteers, & staff receive the support they need. 

We recognize that communication is the first step in understanding. If your child benefits from accommodations during soccer programming, please email to request an appointment to discuss possible support for them. 

If you are a coach who would like to discuss accommodations for yourself to help us bring Soccer to our community, you may find enough support via our Coach Assist webpage, but please contact us via if there is something additional you would like us to consider. 

Examples of accommodations NorWest considers (this is not an exhaustive list):

Confidentiality is assured.

Please bring supporting documentation to your appointment. A doctor's note may be required prior to activation, and caregiver participation should be expected.

The Canadian Soccer Association supports a team for international competition for players with Cerebral Palsy. Details about the Players. Management and Results can be found on the Ontario Soccer website.

While NorWest Soccer is not in a position to endorse or recommend one program over another, it is essential to encourage players to reach their goals and nurture a love for soccer. We encourage and support the work of its district and its member clubs in their efforts to offer playing opportunities to the whole community. Those interested in participating are encouraged to contact our local District Association for advice on Programs in the area.

For further advice, use the following links to find out more about opportunities for players with disabilities and for guidance on inclusion within your current soccer programs:

LOCAL LIST UNDER CONSTRUCTION - Please check back in Summer 2024 and send us an email if you still cannot find what you are looking for!

Canada Soccer Safe Sport

Please review the content at this Canada Soccer link. As a Canada Soccer Quality Soccer Program designate, we provide a developmentally appropriate, safe, enjoyable, accessible, inclusive and welcoming playing environment for their participants.

Canada Soccer Lightning Policy

Canada Soccer's Lightning Policy (from pg 24 of the link provided below) is as follows:

"All coaches and parents should always err on the side of caution when dealing with situations involving lightning and inclement weather.

Referees have been instructed to enforce the CSA Lightning Policy.

The safety of participants and spectators is the primary concern in any weather event that occurs during all matches sanctioned by Canada Soccer. By understanding and following the Lightning Policy, the safety of everyone shall be greatly increased. Ultimately, the referee has the final say over delaying or restarting a match due to weather. Waiting to stop play or not waiting to start play may result in a serious injury or loss of life. Referees are expected to act responsibly when dealing with such events during matches they are controlling.

If you can hear thunder, you can get hit by lightning. As soon as you hear thunder, quickly get to a safe location. More people are struck before and after a thunderstorm than during one."

For the full PDF of the Canada Soccer Guide to Safety, click here - Canada Soccer Guide to Safety.

According to Canada Soccer's policy above, NorWest Soccer's practices and games cannot be restarted until "30 minutes after the last bolt of lightning has been seen in the vicinity of the soccer field." 

However, NorWest's allocated field time slots are 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM on weeknight evenings. This generally means cancelling the session/game. We cannot offer "make-up sessions" because we have scheduled the entirety of our season.

NorWest Soccer adds the following caution:

Due to the endangerment of NorWest staff and participants over the 2023 Outdoor season, brought on by parents refusing to leave fields when requested by staff following the above Canada Soccer Lightning Policy, NorWest Soccer feels the need to add the following caution:

In circumstances where lightning flashes are seen, or thunder is heard, a NorWest Soccer representative (coach/referee/staff member) is REQUIRED to suspend the practice/game/programming verbally and/or by way of a waving away hand motion, request all participants, players, coaches, referees, and spectators to leave the field and seek safe shelter

As the principal contract holder for all club events, the NorWest Optimist Soccer Club permits no one to stay out in the open on the soccer field or leave and return to it or within 20m of its perimeter for "30 minutes after the last bolt of lightning has been seen in the vicinity of the soccer field". For an accepted understanding of Safe Shelter, please use this link to the Lightning Safety Overview by the Government of Canada.

ANYONE THAT DOES NOT LEAVE THE FIELD WHEN ASKED SHALL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR PERSONAL DECISION, as well as that of any minors in their charge - meaning participants they have brought to, agreed to supervise while at, and/or agreed to take from the location of NorWest Soccer events and programming, in question at the time in question.

We cannot and WILL NOT expect staff to remain on-site, at their own risk, for members who refuse to leave when requested.

Furthermore, anyone thought to be willfully ignoring club representatives' request to "leave the field and seek safe shelter" may be found in breach of the NorWest Soccer Club Code of Conduct. Agreed to at the time of registration within PowerUp, and consequently have their child's registration cancelled without any refund or recourse.

If you have thoughts or concerns about this, please resist addressing them with our coaches/staff/referees on the field. We request that you leave the field upon request and make an appointment to discuss things in person at the office via since club volunteers and staff are required to leave the field in accordance with the CSA Lightning Policy as well.

Changing the Game Project

If you haven't heard John O'Sullivan speak, read one of his books or watched his Ted Talk now is your chance!

"One of the biggest changes is the massive increase in sedentary, non athletic lifestyles in our country.  And one of the main reasons for the decrease in activity is the staggering number of kids who drop out of sports at a young age.  An incredible 70% of kids drop out of organized athletics by age 13.  Seventy percent!  Some drop due to financial constraints, others due to time constraints, but most stop playing because it just is not fun anymore."

John O'Sullivan

Changing the Game Project - Ted Talk

Help Lines & Support Services:

If you are experiencing an emergency or are in crisis, please call 911.
If you are experiencing a non-emergency crisis, click the link below to access a list of support services provided by the Coaches Association of Canada.

We have also provided direct links and contact numbers for support services below it. If there is a support service you feel is missing or you think would be beneficial to member mental health please contact us.

If you have a concern about a child and and want to speak to someone, contact the Canadian Centre for Child Protection. If you suspect abuse, report it to your local child welfare agency and/or police.

Mental Health Crisis Hotline
Call: 1-888-456-4566
Text: 45645

Kids Help Phone
Call 1-800-668-6868
Text CONNECT to 686868 

IDEA - Canada Soccer

More coming soon!

Rowan's Law: HIT. STOP. SIT.

NorWest Soccer recognizes Rowan’s Law - Concussion Awareness and Education. Rowan’s Law is named after Rowan Stringer, a high school rugby player from Ottawa, who died in the spring of 2013 from a condition known as second impact syndrome (swelling of the brain caused by a subsequent injury that occurred before a previous injury healed). NorWest has a Concussion Code of Conduct for Players, supports and follows Canada Soccer Concussion Policy, and a Concussion Return to Play Protocol that is in place. This information is available on the Policies & Forms page.

In order to raise awareness of concussions and their long and short-term implications, the Government of Ontario established Rowan’s Law in 2018, which makes it mandatory for sports organizations to:

Spectator Guidelines:

At NorWest, we expect all spectators to be respectful and compliant when attending NorWest programs.
Please review the infographics below, review the page What Not to Yell, and join us for Silent Sideline week!