Letter from the President - October 2020

September 30, 2020 at 11:51pm

To the MODS community,

This past year has been quite the ride. We began the board year in the fall of 2019 - which now feels like an eternity ago - with a focus on addressing the primary concerns that had been brought to us by the membership. At the time, these were finding ways to help support the improvement of spirit of the game within all of our programs, looking to continue to integrate and maximize a new website, and also growing our member base by improving how we retain juniors that age out of that programming into our adult programs.

Then March 11th happened, with the World Health Organization declaring that COVID-19 could now be characterized as a global pandemic, and everything changed for all of us.

This is not to say that the priorities of spirit of the game and growth were no longer important as they still remained a high priority for the board. The shift was that the questions we were now discussing at the board level had changed from what and how to if and when we could safely offer anything in 2020. There was little to go on in terms of a roadmap, as navigating a pandemic situation was not something that any business or organization had recently experienced. It’s easy to look back now and pat ourselves on the back for making the call when we did to suspend programs, as the province shut things down shortly thereafter. At the time it was not a decision we took lightly, as we recognized the impact this would have on our community.

While it has been a stressful experience due to the significant uncertainty involved for our members, staff and the board, I am encouraged by the proactive and cautious nature of our response to date as an organization. I am glad that we have been able to stay the course in our decision making, trusting in the guidance of the provincial health experts and prioritizing what’s most important at this time - member health and safety. The suspension of and subsequent modifications to the game that we all love has been, for all of us, a significant inconvenience in our lives. However, I am thankful that, for myself and many of our members, the impact of the pandemic has been only that - an inconvenience. This perspective is important for those among us who have been fortunate enough to participate in the limited Ultimate play that we were able to safely offer, and who are not experiencing the full effects that this pandemic can bring. To those who have been unable to join us, your presence has been missed. My hope is that when this passes and you are able to do so, we will see you back on the field again.

I’d like to thank all of you who have given to MODS over the past year: To the departing board members Giuseppe, Heidi, Mark, Meghan, Mike and Rob for their generous service during their tenures; to our full time staff Sean and Corey who did instrumental work in facilitating our late summer return; to our seasonal staff who have been essential in our return to the field; to those who ran for the board but were not elected for taking that risk, putting your name forward and being willing to help during this time; to the newly elected board members Charlotte, Delaney, Eric, Jesse and Margaret for taking on the responsibility of helping guide our decision-making; to the board members returning with me in Kari, Nigel and Serena for continuing to commit your time to the organization; and to all those who have volunteered their time coaching, mentoring, organizing leagues/events, participating on committees or working groups, providing feedback and all other aspects of giving that help make MODS the organization that it is today. Once again, THANK YOU!

We are by no means out of the woods yet. There will likely be more challenges ahead as we enter the fall, and the uncertainty around what restrictions the province will need to mandate for the community's health and safety remains. Take care of yourselves and those around you during this time. Thank you all for your patience and grace as we continue to navigate these unchartered waters together.

Daniel Plourde

President - Manitoba Organization of Disc Sports

photo credit Sarah Hunter/www.huntedphotos.com