Updated Tuesday July 2, 2019 by Orillia and District Soccer.
ORILLIA AND DISTRICT SOCCER CLUB
Isobel Hill has invested more than 30 years into volunteering and helping out in virtually every area of minor soccer.
Earlier this month, she was honoured for the great legacy she has brought to organizing youth soccer for the Orillia and District Soccer Club (ODSC).
John Copp, a long-time board member and volunteer with ODSC, says Isobel “grew up surrounded by soccer” and that culture followed her to Orillia.
As a new Canadian, she soon found herself surrounded by like-minded people who embraced her family in a small but passionate soccer community in Orillia.
Isobel started from the grassroots level of coaching, and, over the years, she has filled most of the organizational roles with Orillia and District Soccer Club.
Many have worked with her and those people are fortunate that Isobel’s skill, heart and tenacity has been there to tame administrative challenges; all who work with her have been delighted by her abilities and dedication.
Back at the beginning, organizational challenges at the executive board of Orillia minor soccer created an opportunity and Isobel joined up to make sure things were good for all players and not just a “chosen few”.
Isobel has always showed those on the various boards that she believed in gathering many to work on the problems that inevitably appear in such endeavours.
Isobel seemed to easily organize herself and those around her to “never travel alone” and she has accomplished much. She has often been heard to say that “it is all for the kids” and her actions have consistently reflected that philosophy.
Jim Campbell is a longtime friend of Isobel and soccer aficionado who remembers those early years.
“When I arrived in Orillia, I played football on one of the Orillia football teams. It was a less competitive and more ‘for-fun team,’" said Campbell, who recalls that he soon became fast friends with Isobel and her husband John.
Campbell then got to know her better when they both joined the executive of Orillia minor soccer.
“She was an excellent committee member; she could quickly discern an issue, throw away the parts which were not important, arrive at the crux of the problem and then help create solutions to make it go the right way,” said Campbell.
This was a skill that benefitted the Orillia soccer organization as it evolved and grew and matured.
Campbell sees his friend as a great soccer person.
“I believe it is called common sense. Some people have it, others don't. Isobel had it in abundance," said Campbell.
And it is Isobel’s common sense that makes her such a valued member of any organization.
“Yes, she occupied many positions on the board, and was always dedicated in each to make good things happen for the youngsters in Orillia who wanted to play soccer," said Campbell. "She would at times become quite frustrated with other committee members who did not possess the same common sense, including myself!”
Isobel has also spread her wings to assist soccer at the county and district level.
Isobel is still a valued member of the Huronia District Soccer Association (she is currently their long-time treasurer). The Huronia organization is the regional soccer body that has authority for soccer activities from Bradford to Huntsville, Parry Sound to Orillia. Whenever problems are encountered there, Isobel’s wise counsel is sure to steer that body in the right direction.
Both Copp and Campbell know that Isobel’s touch will be missed in the local ODSC executive meetings. Both are pleased to see that she is being recognized for the great contributions she has made to soccer in this city. And she does it with a humble, personal touch.
Says Campbell: “My wife and I cherish the fact that John and Isobel are good friends.”
And she’s been pretty great for soccer here in Orillia! And, as John Copp says, “she isn't finished yet!”
On Saturday June 22, Orillia and District Soccer Club had a chance to honour Isobel. As recognition for her service to the club she was presented a Muskoka chair adorned with a plaque engraved with a simple message to demonstrate our appreciation.
It read: 'Isobel, for your many years of dedication to the club, families and kids to make "the beautiful game" better for all, we thank you.'
It's well known that Isobel preferred to stay in the background but for one Saturday morning, the Orillia and District Soccer Club was honoured to celebrate her and all her accomplishments.