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MLSE FOUNDATION AND THE REGENT PARK GRANTING CONSORTIUM ANNOUNCE 2018 RPAG GRANT RECIPIENTS

6/22/2018 11:30:00 AM
MLSE Foundation and the Regent Park Granting Consortium announced Charlie’s FreeWheels, Dixon Hall, Hockey 4 Youth, Lay-Up Youth Basketball, Neighbourhood Women Striving in Sport & Athleticism and Youth Empowering Parents as this year’s recipients of the Regent Park Athletic Grounds (RPAG) Grants at a community celebration Wednesday. Launched in November 2015, the $1 million Regent Park grant program focuses on sport development and capacity building in the Regent Park community and surrounding areas. Supported by 3TO6TEAM, Kelly Silverstein Memorial Fund, Sentry Investments and community representatives, MLSE Foundation awards a total of $250,000 each granting cycle to be invested over four years.

“MLSE Foundation and the Regent Park Granting Consortium are proud to have selected this group of six diverse charitable organizations for their important youth-focused sport programs,” said Tanya Mruck, Executive Director, MLSE Foundation & MLSE LaunchPad. “We are pleased to support and collaborate with organizations that share our vision of using sport as a tool to build healthier communities.”

Registered charities that provide sports and recreational-based programming for youth in Regent Park and surrounding areas were invited to apply for a grant via online application from June 2017 to September 2017. The recipients were then determined by a selection committee in October 2017. The funding model is designed to be responsive to the needs of the community and funding can be administered in a number of different ways.

The following is a summary of the organizations receiving funding and their identified sports and recreation-based program:

Organization Name Program Amount Granted
Charlie’s FreeWheels Learn to Ride, Advanced Ride and Girls & Trans Build-a-Bike $65,000
Dixon Hall Mentoring for Violence Prevention (Cricket) $25,000
Hockey 4 Youth Regent Park Hockey 4 Youth $50,000
Lay-Up Youth Basketball Regent Park Lay-Up Basketball Camps (2017-2021) $50,000
Neighbourhood Women Striving in Sport & Athleticism Women Striving in Soccer $25,000
Youth Empowering Parents Youth Empowering Parents Bubble Soccer $35,000
 
Charlie’s FreeWheels – Charlie’s FreeWheels aims to inspire a spirit of exploration and to mobilize, empower and engage youth using bicycles as a driver for personal growth and positive social change. Inspired by Charles Prinsep, a cycling enthusiast struck by a car on a cross-continental cycling journey in 2007, the organization fosters urban access and a spirit of exploration in Toronto’s youth.
 
The $65,000 grant will directly support the Learn to Ride, Advanced Ride and Girls & Trans Build-a-Bike program. Learn to Ride is designed as an introductory ride program to teach younger youth between the ages of 6 and 11 how to ride bicycles on a weekly basis. The Advanced Ride component provides older youth with greater opportunities to continue to develop their ride skills and confidence as young cyclists in Toronto. Through the organization’s staff and volunteers, the Girls & Trans Build-a-Bike program will work to create a safer space and supportive environment where all participants are included, encouraged and empowered to develop the skills and confidence in themselves as mechanics and cyclists. All programs will fill a current gap in the programs offered at Charlie’s FreeWheels and will enable Charlie’s to respond to the demands and interests of the communities it serves.
 
Dixon Hall Neighbourhood Services – Dixon Hall offers a diverse range of integrated services for residents of Regent Park, Moss Park and surrounding neighbourhoods. Serving more than 10,000 people annually, Dixon Hall works with at-risk youth, seniors, adults with physical and health disabilities, homeless men and women, individuals searching for employment, youth and adults with mental health issues and newly immigrated individuals and their families.

The $25,000 grant will directly support the growth of Mentoring for Violence Prevention through cricket. The well-established program uses sport as a platform to provide mentorship to young people and address issues around youth violence in an effort to develop strong, healthy personal values. Coaches and mentors will take advantage of situations presented through team interactions to address issues such as conflict resolution, positive decision-making, fostering healthy relationships and teamwork.
 
Hockey 4 Youth - Hockey 4 Youth provides new Canadian youth in priority neighbourhoods with an opportunity to play hockey at no cost while learning valuable life skills through its T.E.A.C.H. program (Technology, Entrepreneurship, Application, Community-giving, Healthy-active living).  

The $50,000 grant will directly support Regent Park Hockey 4 Youth programming in two halves. The first half focuses on teaching skating and hockey while the second focuses on English literacy development and off-ice life skills programming.
 
Lay-Up Youth Basketball - Lay-Up addresses and prevents self-destructive behaviours in children and youth from low-income neighbourhoods, including the problems of gang violence, substance abuse, and childhood obesity by providing free and supervised educational and recreational programs to support their physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

The $50,000 grant will directly support the growth of Regent Park Lay-Up Basketball Camps from 2017 to 2021, providing an expansion of the organization’s existing programming and other services in the Regent Park neighbourhood. A previous recipient of the RPAG grant in 2016, Lay-Up will run 4 summer camps, 2 after school programs, and 1 March break camp annually to tackle challenges faced by its participants through its comprehensive social curriculum.
 
Neighbourhood Women Striving in Sport & Athleticism – Neighbourhood Women Striving in Sport & Athleticism has provided leadership in sports activities for low-income residents of Moss Park and Regent Park since its inception in 2014. NWSSA’s female only soccer program in Moss Park and Regent Park helps young women combat social isolation and overcome challenges integrating into the community.

The $25,000 grant will directly support Women Striving in Soccer to develop and engage female youth by bringing those from diverse/marginalized groups together through soccer, promoting physical activity and facilitating the development of soccer as their lifetime hobby, thereby diverting their attention from at-risk behaviours.
 
Youth Empowering Parents – Youth Empowering Parents unlocks community resources to meet the educational needs of immigrant adults by developing youth into effective teachers, service-providers and community leaders.

The $35,000 grant will support Youth Empowering Parents Bubble Soccer to develop a youth-led bubble soccer program, consisting of a registered league for youth (ages 11-18) and drop-in community sessions, while also developing youth community leaders through a Leaders in Training program. The organization hopes to teach valuable lifelong skills such as trust, teamwork, focus, coordination and sportsmanship through its Bubble Soccer program at Regent Park.
 
About MLSE Foundation
MLSE Foundation believes all kids should have access to sport and the opportunity to develop lasting dreams on the playing field. With the support of MLSE’s teams, MLSE Foundation funds the refurbishments of local athletic facilities and funds charities that support kids through sports and recreational programs. Since launching in December 2009, MLSE Foundation has invested more than $30 million into our community. For more information visit mlsefoundation.org and follow @MLSEFoundation on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
 
About 3TO6TEAM
The 3TO6TEAM is built on the understanding that youth involved in structured sport programming outside of regular school hours (3 – 6 p.m.) increases team building and leadership skills and are less likely to be involved in activities that put them at risk. By teaming up with MLSE Foundation, 3TO6Team works to fund sport programing for the community. Through commitment and fundraising efforts, 3TO6Team assists MLSE Foundation in giving the youth of Regent Park the opportunity to be inspired to achieve their dreams.  
 
About Kelly Silverstein Memorial Fund
Kelly Silverstein Memorial Fund was created to honour Kelly, a family man, coach, mentor and friend, who passed away from Leukemia in 2007. The Silverstein Family wanted to ensure that he was remembered by giving back to the community and so they started the annual golf tournament. From 2013-2015, proceeds from the tournament went to develop the Kelly Silverstein Memorial Basketball Court at the Regent Park Athletic Grounds made possible through a partnership with MLSE Foundation.
 
About Sentry Investments
Sentry Investments was founded in 1997 and is one of Canada's fastest-growing independent asset management companies. Sentry manages over $18 billion in assets on behalf of more than 500,000 Canadian investors. Sentry offers a diverse range of award-winning investment products available through financial advisors, including domestic and global mutual funds, and separately managed accounts. For more information, visit sentry.ca. Sentry, Sentry Investments and the Sentry Investments logo are trademarks of Sentry Select Capital Corp.
 
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Media contact:
Nikk Kadbet, MLSE, Nikk.Kadbet@mlse.com, 647-919-6455