Rookie League delivers on an active summer

Bats and gloves come alive for the summer

What is Rookie League? Find out from a participant-turned-coordinator

On a beautiful summer day in early July, hundreds of excited tenant youth ballplayers from more than 20 TCHC communities descended on Dovercourt Park and stepped up to the plate for the opening day of Rookie League, a summer-long baseball day-camp program for children ages 6 to 12.

Held in partnership with Jays Care Foundation, Rookie League has run for more than 30 seasons and teaches kids about the value of fair play, teamwork and leadership (both on and off the field).

It wasn’t all baseball on opening day though; the kick-off event also featured fun obstacle courses, bouncy castles, water slides and delicious, frosty treats. To top it all off, free Blue Jays shirts and gear were handed out, delighting young fans looking to take their game to the next level.

TCHC Program Coordinator Breonna Francis was excited to play a key role in organizing Rookie League this year; she participated when she was a tenant youth, back when it was known as Rookie Ball, and has been involved ever since. “Rookie League holds a dear place in my heart and I hope TCHC tenants feel inspired to sign up their kids and loved ones for this great, free program” she said.

“Rookie League holds a dear place in my heart.”

Older kids ages 13 to 15 can also enjoy Rookie League by enrolling in the Leaders in Training (LIT) program, which teaches important life skills through sports and fun activities. Rookie League Supervisor Josh MacDonald also loves participating in the program and spoke about its importance to tenants. “Rookie League provides a safe space for youth who are often labelled or stigmatized,” he said. “It gives them a program to be themselves, to interact with each other and just be kids.”

TCHC Director of Programs and Partnerships Likwa Nkala is overjoyed Rookie League is back on track after some tough times. “After two years with the pandemic, to be able to get three hundred and fifty kids out here at the park in Dovercourt has been amazing,” he said. 

The busy summer included the crack of many bats, slides to home plate, and smiling faces all around. Play ball!

“It gives them a program to be themselves, to interact with each other and just be kids.”

If you’re a Toronto Community Housing tenant looking to register your child for next year’s Rookie League program, you can do so online at

If you have questions about the program, email, call 437-233-2059, or contact the Program Coordinator for your child's site for more information.