COVID-19 limiting opportunities for aspiring athletes

Sebastian Pereira / May 15, 2020

Diego Tonatiuh, an aspiring soccer player from Squamish, BC.
(@diegotgl / Instagram)

While the coronavirus pandemic has affected various sports leagues across the world, many young and ambitious athletes have found it difficult to continue their paths towards a professional career.

Diego Tonatiuh, an aspiring soccer player, was scheduled to take part in a trial with Portuguese club Portimonense and attend a tournament in Toronto with Canada’s Youth National Futsal Team this past April.

However, both of the 19-year-old’s life-changing opportunities were postponed due to the impact of the pandemic, leaving him worried about his future.

“The fact that the quarantine happened at this time [is tough], it’s a crucial time period for me because I just turned 19, I’m starting to get to the age where I’m becoming too old to really go play overseas with teams because they already have players.”

– Diego Tonatiuh, Aspiring Soccer Player, LiveLifeComplex

Having previously trialed at a pair of Uruguayan clubs, Tonatiuh knows not many soccer players in Canada get the chance of trialing in Europe with a professional team and desperately hopes Portimonense can reschedule the trial.

The Squamish resident also admits the postponement of the futsal tournament, which would’ve been streamed live on, was a big loss since coaches from the Men’s National Soccer Team would’ve been keeping close tabs on the event.

“It would’ve been really good exposure for me, really good for my cover letter. Just having national team coaches watching me would’ve been great, it was something I was really looking forward to.”

– Diego Tonatiuh, Aspiring Soccer Player, LiveLifeComplex

Tonatiuh’s Trials.
(Sebastian Pereira / BCIT News)

Jason Kyle, a fitness and soccer coach at Train Like An Athlete, believes aspiring athletes with major opportunities like Tonatiuh will find it difficult to make a breakthrough, given they’re at the prime age to show their qualities to professional teams.

Jason Kyle, Train Like An Athlete Coach.

“It’s a tough one because they’re at the crucial age if you know what I mean for getting attention, so not to have those opportunities definitely, definitely sucks.”

– Jason Kyle, Fitness & Soccer Coach, Train Like An Athlete