By Gerald V. Paul
Youth from Boys and Girls Club of Canada were among a contingent of 300 from across Ontario who met in Toronto last Saturday, learning about the value of the Pan Am Games and their legacy.
For more than 100 years, Boys and Girls Clubs across Canada have been helping young people to discover, develop and achieve their potential as they grow to become Canada’s future adults, citizens and leaders, by engaging them in activities that challenge and help them develop healthy minds and bodies.
By engaging youth in the Toronto 2015 Games, organizers hope the impact will extend far beyond sport and make a positive difference in communities across the nation for years to come.
“On behalf of the government of Ontario, I am pleased to welcome all the young delegates attending the Youth Summit hosted by the TO2015 Youth Advisory Council,” said Premier Kathleen Wynne.
“Over the course of two days, delegates will learn how sports, art and culture build up our communities across Ontario and they will share what they have learned when they return home. These bright, talented young people serve as an inspirational to us all,” Wynne added.
At the We Belong community activation, young delegates learned the choreography to We Belong, a song written by youth about unity through diversity.
Other events included The Amazing Race where participants navigated a challenging scavenger hunt, testing their leadership skills; Take the Stage in which youth took part in a number of improvisation exercises that taught them how to think fast and make decisions, and the U in Community, a United Way initiative.
Attendees also engaged in conversations with Toronto citizens at three subway stations to find out what they love about their communities and how they can be strengthened through sport and recreation.
Participants met with athletes, community leaders and entertainers who shared stories of triumph and activism.