West Scarborough Neighborhood Community Centre, Ontario- Scarborough

West_Scarborough_Swim_2.jpgThe Teesdale-Oakridge community has been identified by the City of Toronto and United Way Poverty by Postal Code Report as being the poorest area in Toronto. Based on Statistics Canada, 58% of the neighborhood population is immigrants, and 68% are of visible minority.

GoodLife Kids Foundation viewed West Scarborough Neighborhood Community Centre as an opportunity to reinforce the importance of physical activity for all kids, regardless of socioeconomic status. With a grant from GoodLife Kids Foundation, West Scarborough Aquatics will be partnered up with three local elementary schools to provide children from low-income families the opportunity to participate and benefit from swimming and water safety programs during school hours.

The Swim @ School- Swim to Win project will provide 600 pool hours to 480 children in Glamorgan and Divine Infant Public School. 

The lessons will be free of charge and will comprise of water safety, swimming technique and fitness drills. Among completion of the program, kids will participate in an awards challenge assessment of their choice to be awarded certification.

View photos from West Scarborough Neighborhood Community Centre below.

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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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