St. Edward Catholic School, Ontario- North York

The after school swim program at St. Edward Catholic School is open to all students, including students with disabilities. However, the current program is limiting for those students without financial means as they are unable to cover the ‘out of pocket’ costs associated with the program.

 

A grant from GoodLife Kids Foundation will alleviate costs and transportation restrictions to 45 students in need. The swim program will take place out of school hours, and help students learn and develop four basic strokes: back, front, butterfly and breast.  Students will also be tested on performing each stroke for a specific distance, and results will be recorded to document their improvement in skills.  They will also get the opportunity to compete at swim meets.

 

The grant is made possible through the fundraising efforts of North York Willowdale GoodLife Fitness members and staff during the 2011 Be A Kid’s Superhero Campaign.

 

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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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