What’s new with Sport for Change? Above the Rim (July) and Feet in Motion (September)

by Nadia Heyd, Storefront Staff, September 5, 2019

Among the amazing community-building activities that happen at The Storefront, basketball happened in a big way this summer at The Storefront Sports Court! On July 28th, we saw the culmination of months of work by local resident leaders supported by The Storefront’s Sport for Change initiative. Above the Rim, a 3-on-3 youth basketball tournament saw a great turnout at our Sports Court for a fun-filled day. About 50 youth from our neighbourhood – and from other neighbourhoods across the city – came out to play basketball, and a crowd of about 100 other community members came out to cheer them on.

Of course, being a Sport for Change activity there was Sport…

Top:  3-on-3 Basketball  action!
Bottom (L-R) : S4C’s inaugural Above the Rim Champions,  Aaron, Mikey and Devin

As with every S4C event, there was also “Change.”  Resident leaders planned activities with a focus on encouraging young people to get involved in making their community better for themselves, their families, and everyone. All youth players and volunteers can receive a Sport for Change passport to help them keep track of any community engagement activities that they participate in (the change). Every time they do get involved in the community both within and outside of the Sport for Change program, youth earn points that can be contributed to scores in tournaments or other prizes and acknowledgements.

Above left: Community leader, Elijah, served as MC and tournament coordinator for the day.
Above right: Youth in our community garden, learning about what it takes to build a community garden. They also learned about the essence of Sport for Change and why sports is a means to an end and not an end in itself when it comes to building communities and spearheading local change.

Top: Hiwot of the Association of Committed and Engaged Youth (ACEY) was talking with youth about ways they can have more influence in their community by joining ACEY, whose main project right now, “Diversity, Dialogue and Disruption,” focuses on youth Mental Health.  Hiwot also distributed surveys from Student’s Commission to local residents, intended to learn about peoples’ attitudes towards and frequency of involvement in community civic engagement activities.
Middle (L-R):  Dave and Dianne keep score, taking turns with Agnes and Mary.
Bottom: A crew of Storefront’s Volunteers were phenomenal at running the food tables.  Thank you!

We’d like to acknowledge the support of everyone who contributed to the event. In addition to those you’ve seen so far, a large community of residents were the reason the event happened: they expressed the desire to bring this event to life. Leading up to the event, they organized and led skill-building workshops held in multiple places in the community for KGO’s young people. Residents worked so hard together with our staff and other community partners to plan and organize the day and spread the word throughout the community and beyond. Without the commitment of so many wonderful residents, Above the Rim wouldn’t have been the great community-building success that it was.  Additionally, we are grateful for support for Above The Rim from:

Major funders:
Ontario Trillium Foundation
United Way Greater Toronto

Key Donors:
Kiwanis Club of Toronto

Key Partners:
United Play
St. Margaret’s Public School

Gift card donors:
St. Mark’s United Church
McDonald’s Restaurants at Kingston Road and Lawrence Avenue East
Three anonymous donors

The Storefront’s ongoing donors:
Your contributions help support everything that happens at The Storefront, including Above the Rim!

Thanks also to The Bluffs Monitor for dropping by and taking photos, which you can find at www.bluffsmonitor.com

Thank you!

After such a big event like Above the Rim, you’d be forgiven for thinking Sport for Change was done for the year.  But there’s more in store for 2019! Coming up September 7th, get ready for Feet in Motion, the third annual resident-led Soccer tournament! Of course, residents have been preparing for FIM for months, with smaller events like workshops and friendly matches. This weekend, the FIM tournament will see youth soccer players take to UTSC’s Valley Fields on Old Kingston Road. Come on out and cheer on the soccer with us!

With all the enthusiasm we see from our community, we can tell that sport is an effective and fun catalyst for community-building in our neighbourhood, and we’ll keep on encouraging everyone to come out and play!

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