Big Brothers Big Sisters, Ontario- Ajax Pickering

Ajax Harwood Plaza GoodLife Fitness Club’s commitment to fundraise for GoodLife Kids Foundation during the 2010 Be A Kid’s Superhero Campaign is being recognized with a grant to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ajax Pickering to offer Go Girls! and Game On!  

Go Girls! and Game On! are programs led by volunteer mentors, and provide opportunities for girls and boys to participate in physical fitness activities, self-reflection, and group discussions. The sessions encourage learning, personal growth, as well as relationship-building between participants and mentors. Go Girls! and Game On! will be delivered to 48 children ages 11 to 14 over 7 weekly sessions.

GoodLife Kids Foundation’s support for Go Girls! and Game On! will ensure more girls and boys have the opportunity to benefit from an active life while developing and building positive relationships with mentors.

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The Confidence to Try #FEELGOODFRIDAY Lukas is a 10-year-old Raptors fan who plays basketball with his local chapter of Special Olympics, but it wasn’t that long ago that he was afraid to join a team. Lukas is an outgoing kid who likes to make friends and has always been very active. But his early experiences in organized physical activity were not positive. One of his biggest challenges with autism is struggling to follow directions in large groups. He was often told he was doing things wrong and even that he would embarrass the team. “These negative comments deflated his confidence, and he became afraid to try new things,” explained his mom Lisa. When he was eight, Lukas took part in the Sports of All Sorts program at the Geneva Centre for Autism. The supportive environment in the Sports of All Sorts program, funded by a GoodLife Kids grant, was a real game-changer for him. Constant encouragement and positive reinforcement gave Lukas a safe space to explore new activities without a fear of being judged. With one-on-one support he played basketball, baseball, tennis, and golf. “We’re so glad to make physical activity a regular part of Lukas’ life and we’ve found ways for him to continue practicing at home,” said Lisa. “We bought a tennis net for the backyard, and now that he’s not afraid, he loves to go to glow-in-the-dark mini-putt with his dad!” As Lukas turned around on the basketball court to wave to his mom, he gave her two big thumbs up and her eyes welled up with tears of joy. “Watching him enjoy himself, I’m overwhelmed with happiness and pride,” she shared. “He has talents! But most of all, he has regained a belief in himself – that he CAN do it – and that is so powerful.”

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