Toronto Community Housing and the University of Toronto Scarborough's Department of Athletics and Recreation launched Midnight Madness, a late night basketball program for youth from Toronto Community Housing neighbourhoods in Alexandra Park, Flemingdon Park, Jane St (Jane and Finch, Cooper Mills), Morningside (Kingston Galloway, Morningside Coronation and Mornelle) and Rexdale (Queen's Plate, Rowntree).
Midnight Madness is a first of its kind youth engagement program in Toronto. It's designed to bring youth living in Toronto communities together, increase access to post-secondary education and encourage all aspects of physical literacy at a non-traditional time of day.
Twice weekly, participating youth are engaged locally in a wide range of activities under the mentorship of volunteer members of Toronto Police Service, Toronto Community Housing employees, students from University of Toronto Scarborough, and partners at other basketball programs in the city. The program includes:
- Local (in each community) basketball practices that will help youth develop their skills and promote community building and healthy active living.
- Late-night competition of all the participant communities every Friday night from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the UofT Scarborough, which includes mandatory life skills workshops and basketball skills development.
As part of Toronto Community Housing's Year of the Youth initiative, innovative programs like Midnight Madness help to get young residents involved in positive activities and help to develop stronger healthier communities.
"I am so happy we found great partners to try Midnight Madness basketball by agreeing to provide great learning and leadership opportunities for young men who live in social housing. Programming at night is new to us and our partners and I hope that it proves successful for the participants."
-Eugene Jones Jr., President and CEO, Toronto Community Housing
"I know that Midnight Madness Basketball will be an excellent program. We are very pleased to participate. We see, every day, the enormous benefits of engaging with youth in Toronto and I know this will provide young people with valuable skills and opportunities."
- Chief Bill Blair, Toronto Police Service
"We're thrilled to be a partner in this program that's making sure young people are having fun. They're also learning leadership and life skills that will serve them for the long-term. That can have a positive impact on each of their lives, and on the life of the community."
- Desmond Pouyat, Dean of Student Affairs, University of Toronto Scarborough
"Growing up in Toronto, playing basketball with my friends I learned to love the game and learned valuable lessons about setting goals and working hard to reach them. I think this is a great program and all involved - TCH, the mentors and coaches supporting it and the youth dedicating their Friday nights to improving themselves on and off the court - should be congratulated. This is the start of a great program for our youth and our city, and I'm proud to be part of it."
-Jamaal Magloire, Basketball Development Consultant & Community Ambassador, NBA All-star (2004)
Midnight Madness Basketball overview
About Toronto Community Housing
Toronto Community Housing is Canada's largest social housing provider and home to more than 164,000 tenants with low and moderate incomes-about six per cent of Toronto's population. Toronto Community Housing and its subsidiaries employ 1,300 staff in a broad range of jobs, who deliver its mission to provide affordable housing, connect tenants to services and opportunities, and work together to build healthy communities.
About University of Toronto Scarborough
Experiential education is UTSC's hallmark. Students get a head start on their futures through U of T's only co-op program as well as internships, hands-on research, community engagement and a vibrant campus life. Located next to popular natural landmarks in Toronto's greenest area, the UTSC campus is experiencing dynamic growth. The new Aquatics Centre and Field House represents Canada's largest investment in amateur sport infrastructure, and will open for the Pan Am/Para Pan American Games in 2015.
Media contact: Sinead Canavan 416-981-4346 / 416-891-8665 (m) firstname.lastname@example.org