Written by: Kalena Soehn, SportWORKS Officer, Sport for Newcomers Calgary
Monday, March 14th was Commonwealth Day and marked the first session in a week long of Newcomer sport programming opportunities!!! 72 countries and territories of rich diversity celebrate unity through Common Values such as; Democracy, Rule of Law and Equality and are innovating, connecting and transforming to achieve common goals in health, education, economy and the environment for the common good of 2.4 billion Commonwealth citizens and the entire world.
Firstly, this is a huge step up from our first singular day event. The second event took place at the Genesis Centre here in Calgary. This public venue conveniently located in the heart of Northeast Calgary, was a great way to introduce Newcomers to the area and to a fantastic community hub. In the first day of this event, participants learned to play soccer with the help of local soccer club Eastside Memorial FC. Having the opportunity to learn soccer from an ex-member of the University of Calgary’s Women’s soccer team was a huge honour for the kids. About half of the kids that were participating had never played organized soccer with the help of a coach and found it very fun to train specific skills that they did not get the chance to develop when playing by themselves.
After the event the kids were very happy (and tired from playing so hard) and looking forward to the other days where they will get the chance to play different sports alongside the friends they made from this first session.
As we continue through this week and a following week that will feature Newcomer girls-only programming, I am very thankful for finding Flames Sport Bank, who is a sport equipment charity here in Calgary that helps low-income families who are in need of sporting equipment. They helped to supply this event with badminton rackets for the Newcomers to use and in our second week of Newcomer girls-only programming they are letting each of the girls attending to keep the racket that they are using!
I am excited for the rest of the weeks of events and am grateful that Commonwealth Day went so smoothly for all of the Newcomer children involved and myself. Stay tuned to hear how the rest of the weeks go!