In the program's first year at Toronto Community Housing, KickStart is giving kids a chance to learn soccer and important skills off the field like leadership, teamwork and fair play.
Participants pose for a group photo.
Before the game, all participants were welcomed by Gene Jones, President and CEO of Toronto Community Housing, Bruce Kidd, chair of the MLSE Team Up Foundation, and Robert Staffieri, Director of Marketing at Kia Canada.. The young players then got to work on soccer skills through drills.
President and CEO, Gene Jones Jr. (Left centre) pose for a photo with participants and Kick Start patners.
The KickStart program is available to more than 200 youth from Scarlettwood, Firgrove,Trethewey, Willowridge, Lawrence Heights, Regent Park, Victoria Park, Malvern, Kingston-Galloway and Teesdale. Each week, teams will practice and play games against other communities. Coaches are older youth from the same communities who received coaching sessions from the MLSE Team Up Foundation.
"Programs like KickStart help make our communities more vibrant and healthy by engaging youth through sport and leadership opportunities, said Gene Jones, President and CEO Toronto Community Housing. "When everyone works together--residents, private partners, community organizations and Toronto Community Housing--we can build safer neighbourhoods and a better city."
Kids playing soccer with Toronto FC players.
About the partners:
The MLSE Team Up Foundation believes all kids should have access to sport and the opportunity to develop lasting dreams on the playing field. With the support of all four MLSE teams - the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, Toronto FC and Toronto Marlies - the Foundation funds the refurbishment of local athletic facilities and programs that support kids through sports and recreation. Since launching in December 2009, the MLSE Team Up Foundation has invested more than $6.5 million into our community. For more information visit mlseteamupfoundation.org or follow @TeamUpFdn on Twitter.
Kia Canada Inc. a maker of quality vehicles for the young-at-heart -- is a subsidiary of Kia Motors Corporation (KMC) in Korea was founded in 1999 and sells and services high quality class leading vehicles like the Soul, Forte, Optima and Sorento through a network of 176 dealers nationwide. Kia Canada Inc. employs 163 people in its Mississauga, Ontario headquarters and four regional offices across Canada. Kia's brand slogan -- "The Power to Surprise" -- represents the company's global commitment to surprise the world by providing exciting & inspiring experiences that go beyond expectations.