The Sport for Newcomers initiative is back in action! After more than a year delay from the initial pilot program that was started in 2019 because of a pandemic that is not yet in our rear view, I am beyond thrilled to say that plans for programming opportunities are back! We are now in the planning stages with host partner Centre for Newcomers in Calgary, Alberta.
Hi, My name in Kalena Soehn and I am excited to bring you along on this experience as the SportWORKS Officer on this project. I have been a competitive athlete in the sport of Trampoline since 2006, and I have had the honour of competing on the world stage multiple times as a member of the Canadian National Team. As a women’s national team member, I know first hand the positive impact that sport can have on a young athletes life. In 2017, I had the opportunity to go to Panama City, Panama, where I took part in a “knowledge exchange” between Canada and South American countries. I hope this experience will lend to my term helping the Centre for Newcomers to reduce barriers faced by newcomer youth, especially newcomer girls.
The Sport for Newcomers Initiative pilot was initiated in 2019/2020 in Edmonton and Toronto, and is now continuing for the 2021/2022 extension of the pilot in Calgary and Hamilton. The main goal of the initiative is the reduction or elimination of selected barriers to newcomer youth, especially girls face when participating/or looking to participate in sport programming in Canada through the “re-organizing” and communicating of sport programs that recognize newcomer youths’ unique cultural needs; leading to increased sport frequency rates and retention of newcomer youth.
Thanks to Commonwealth Sport Canada for this amazing opportunity to give back to a community in my home province of Alberta.
By : Kalena Soehn