Canada Soccer recently announced the recipients of the 2020 Canada Soccer Nation Champions, which are presented by Toyota. The annual recognition campaign focused on honouring volunteers who supported their club or academy on protocols under Canada Soccer’s Return-to-Soccer Guidelines in 2020. “Volunteers provided vital support to community clubs and academies from coast-to-coast in the face of the global coronavirus pandemic during a difficult 2020 Canadian soccer season,” said Dr. Nick Bontis, Canada Soccer President. “By supporting Canada Soccer’s Return-to-Soccer Guidelines, developed in collaboration with and in support of our Member Associations, the 2020 Canada Soccer Nation Champions presented by Toyota recipients exemplified the dedication and sacrifice that merit recognition of the countless volunteers who support the game in this country.”
After announcing the suspension of all sanctioned soccer in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada Soccer, led by its Medical Committee and in collaboration with its member associations, set forward its Return-to-Soccer Guidelines in support of the development of Public Health protocols guiding the safe return to in-person training and soccer activity. Canada Soccer launched the Canada Soccer Nation Champions as a way of recognition of the extraordinary circumstances and corresponding requirements clubs were required to follow. Quebec’s Canada Soccer Nation Champion is Benoît Brabant of the Deltas de Laval soccer club. Brabant is the Director of Soccer within the Sports Committee of Deltas de Laval, which is a multi-sport organization and has been a volunteer for over 20 years.His dedication and contribution to the Deltas Soccer Club have greatly benefited the players, volunteers, and coaches of the club and the Laval region. The Deltas de Laval has continuously improved thanks to Brabant’s unconditional involvement and his almost daily commitment. Brabant gave an enormous amount of his time to the organization and its members. It is estimated that he contributes more than 1,500 hours per year as Brabant takes care of club administration and daily operations for the Deltas, is a board member for the regional committee of Soccer Laval and he also deals with the city of Laval in order to constantly advance soccer in all its aspects. Over the past several seasons, Brabant, along with other members of the club has developed academies for players from 4 to 12 years old that run on the weekends before the start of the summer season.
Brabant was part of the Return to Play committee for the Laval region where his ideas greatly facilitated the return to soccer in Laval last summer. His experience and dedication ensured that all scenarios were well considered and that the rules were applied perfectly to ensure the players, volunteers, and coaches a safe return on the pitch in consideration of the established standards. Brabant also spent a lot of time organizing and deploying return-to-play health protocols in the field.