The Aurora Way

 Accessible, Inclusive, & Welcoming Soccer Environment

 Aurora Soccer Club is responsive to groups identified by Saskatoon Youth Soccer in supporting participation. If zone boundaries may be impacting on certain groups participating in soccer, Aurora Soccer Club would work collaboratively with clubs to ensure the participation


 Aurora Soccer Club’s financial policies are supportive in reducing &/or eliminating financial barriers.

  • Registration: Late Registration 2.5.3: Late fees may be waived in special circumstances.
  • Registration: Installment Payments of Fees 2.5.4: Arrangements can and will be made with the Registrar to provide families with the opportunity to make installment payments in the event of financial barriers. The option of having installments made via credit card are available.
    • Registration: Registration Assistance 2.5.5: o The club will refer families in need of support to KidSport, Jumpstart, Aurora Soccer Club’s Ways & Means Committee. Application forms are available at registration.
    • Families who do not qualify for KidSport or Jumpstart can apply for assistance through the Aurora Soccer Club’s Ways & Means Committee.
    • Late registrants are welcomed.
    • Players & families are accommodated by teams for absences related to religious or cultural reasons that may occur at various times during the season.
    • Aurora’s Academy (ADA - Accelerated Development Academy) is inclusive, accepting of all registrants regardless of skill or zone.


 Aurora Soccer Club’s Policy & Procedure Manual - Objectives includes the following statements:

  • To promote and assist the development & enjoyment of soccer for all players.
  • To develop and foster the concepts of fair play, teamwork, competitive sportsmanship, ethical behaviour and good fellowship among all those involved in soccer.




1.1 Aurora Soccer club Aligns with Long Term Player Development

The guiding principles of the Aurora Soccer Club Technical Development Plan are based on the guidelines set by Canada Soccer and Ontario Soccer Long term Player Development (LTPD). The LTPD is a player centred program designed to optimize the chances of player success by tailoring training, competition and coaching to their needs at the appropriate stage of development. This aligns the children’s age to the appropriately defined soccer skills in a caring soccer community of parents, coaches, officials. The major underlying criteria for LTPD is a fun and accommodating soccer learning environment.

In the LTPD model, the development pathway for the player, coach and match officials are all aligned. These pathways are important pillars in our club technical development plan. The continuous development of the player is synonymous with a well-trained and knowledgeable coach/mentor. Hence the development of the coach is an integral component for the continuous delivery and improvement of our program. Even though the development of match officials is equally important, in the current soccer structure of Saskatoon, that responsibility falls under a different organisation. Nonetheless, Aurora soccer actively supports and promotes all initiatives geared at referee development and retention. This, however, will not be a component of our club development plan.

This Technical plan illustrated a pathway for our players and our coaches to follow. This is developed based on our current programming, feedback from the club’s stakeholders (parents and board members) and an assessment of the overall health and sustainability of our current technical dispensation.


1.2 Long Term Player Development for Players and Coaches

The LTPL model identifies two streams of soccer programing; the recreational and competitive streams. As a club, Aurora Soccer strives to offer both.Within in the first four stages of the LTPD model, age and stage appropriate training methods ensure that skills development is placed above all else up to Level 4.


Figure 1.1 Canada Soccer’s long-term player development pathway with numbered age appropriate development curriculum targets

1.2.1 Aurora Approach to Learn to Train and FUNdamental

The design of sessions and emphasis for U11 and under, is to focus on core competencies and the developmental needs of children and not on player selection based on perceived skill for competition models that encourage and reward player recruitment over player development.

  1. There is no tearing in the FUNdamental level, allowing for club wide training.
  2. The use of the preferred training model at this age allows for equal access of all players to coaching from the more experienced coaches.

Even though there is a tearing system to allow for appropriate competition across the city at Learn to Train. Aurora alwayssubmits minimum team sizes at these ages to allow for upward movement of players

1.3 Coach Development

All of the coaches in Aurora have the minimum training required by CSA and implemented by the Saskatoon Youth Soccer Inc (SYSI). These community stream workshops are offered several times in a year.


Figure 1.2 Canada Soccer’s Coach development pathway aligned with the long-term player development.

1.3.1 Community Stream

The four Community Sport Stream workshops (based on Stages 1, 2, 3, and 7) of the LTPD Model. The first three workshops, Active Start, FUNdamentals, and Learn to Train, deal with soccer training and the importance of physical literacy for players up to 12 years of age. The fourth workshop, Soccer for Life, focuses attention on working with players between the ages of 13 through to adult recreational soccer.

1.3.2 Licensing Stream

The Licensing Stream is aimed at those who are more serious about their coaching development and requires that coaches reach a minimum standard of competence in a practical coaching environment. Each coach is, therefore, formally evaluated and graded by Staff Evaluators at eachstage of the process. This process begins with the C Licence. From there, coaches may enter the B Licence Program (which includes the B Licence Part 1 and B Licence Part 2), the Children's Licence stream, or the Youth Licence stream. It is aimed at coaches working with players in an environment where performance is a critical factor in successful coaching.

  1. Aurora Soccer will continue to encourage and fully fund (both the registration and other costs) coaches who pursue advanced coaching
  2. Aurora will additionally encourage female coaches to take these courses with additional bursary. This is to help bridge the current gap/lack of female coaches for our competitive stream (PSL teams).
  3. Aurora is exploring funding to compensate licensed coaches in order to motivate and retain them. These are also outlined in Coach Development.

Sports Science is included as an important aspect for the club and the well-being of the players.


2.1 Current Program offerings

2.1.1 Recreational Soccer League

Aurora is one of five clubs that formed the Saskatoon Youth Soccer inc. (SYSI). The main objective of SYSI is to allocate space to each club in the Saskatoon Soccer Centre, organize and run a league for the member clubs. SYSI offers Mini and Youth Soccer.

Mini Soccer is defined to include U7, and U9 programs. In accordance with the LTPD pathway, the focus is on FUN and enjoyment of the game. As such, no standings are kept and there are no assigned referees at this level of play. To develop and retain players, Aurora, like other clubs, offer an additional training session per week for our athletes.

Youth Soccer is defined as the U11 through U19 soccer programs. Even though the league is a recreational league, it is structured to allow for appropriated competition (tiering within each age group) with standings (excluding U11).

2.1.2 Biweekly Technical Sessions

For continuous coach and player development, technical sessions are organized and run by the TD for all teams twice a month. Both athletes and coaches are expected to participate in these sessions. Coaches are encouraged to give input on the themes for these sessions, with the expectation of sharing and learning from the sessions delivered by the TD. Goalkeeper specific training sessions are opened to all within the club. These sessions are offered twice a month and lead by a trained goalkeeping coach.

2.1.3 Accelerated Development Academy (ADA)

The Accelerated Development Academy is a program designed to give extra technical sessions to athletes and runs from October through March. Two groups have been identified in 2019/2020 season (U11 and U15 groups). The success of this program is not obvious considering the amount of money and coaching resources as opposed to the enrolment.

2.1.4 Summer Camps

Program is a six-week program (August-September), held at the Aurora assigned summer practice field, for ages.

2.1.5 Competitive Soccer

Players ages U13-19. Competitive Soccer includes teams and programs that are based on player evaluations and competitive try-outs. Aurora’s competitive soccer is played in the summer only. Each year Aurora soccer puts in a minimum of two competitive teams (U13 boys and Girls teams) in the provincial soccer league (PSL).

2.2 Technical Structure

The technical structure of the club (Figure 2.1) will be led by the director of player and coach development as shown below. A technical committee comprising of the director of coach and player development, the technical director, technical coordinator and the head coaches, and additional members where necessary will oversee the various components of the technical plan.




The teams within Aurora are coached by volunteer coaches. The number of coaches varies from year/season and typically falls in the range of 32-40 coaching spots per season. These coaches are all mandated to obtain the very minimum of training/certification mandated by SYSI. The table below outlines the number of coaches in each category currently within the club. Coaches with multiple levels of certification are countered in each category. Also included is the projected budget coach certification in the 2020/21 budget year.

2.3 Evaluation of Current Program Offering

A Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis is another way of assessing Aurora Soccer’s current overall health. Strengths and Weaknesses should be thought of primarily as internal to the organization. Opportunities and Threats are influencing factors that may come to the organization externally. By addressing the good and bad, both internal and external, the Aurora board is able to use the SWOT analysis to set priorities and plan for the future. The outcome of this analyses form the basis for our action items defined for the year.


The actionable items from the SWOT analysis, and input from board members form the basis for the recommended key performance indicators below. To implement the KPI’s captured in sections 3.1 and 3.2, an annual technical calendar is required.

3.1 Player Development

A key component of implementing a unified club technical model includes the development of appropriate curriculum for each LTDP developmental point.

3.2 Coach Development

A major gap in coach development has been the reliance on SYSI to provide training courses. The provision of weekly focused technical presentation to will both engage and continue to develop coaches. These sessions can be run/delivered by the TD and guest coaches on an ongoing basis.



3.3 Use of Technology

  1. Aurora soccer club is currently piloting the use of Skill Shark software for player evaluation. The current scope will be expanded to include both in-season evaluations, and the ability to generate in-season and end of season player assessment by coaches in a timely manner.
    1. Develop age appropriate standardized templates (according to LTPD) benchmarks for evaluation
    2. Develop a progress report template to capture several in season player evaluations to enable tracking and benchmarking
  2. Adapt the use of video review for games and session delivery. This will prepare coaches for
    delivery of license evaluation sessions adapted by Canada Soccer and Saskatchewan soccer
    for the licensing stream.


For PDF versions please see below:

Accessible, Inclusive, and Welcoming Soccer Environment

Aurora Long-term Technical Plan 


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