Written by: Ronald Hollingsworth, SportWORKS Officer – S4N Hamilton
Coming out of the pandemic, it was very difficult to encourage youth to participate in sport activities. Through a variety of different sports such as soccer, volleyball, and badminton, we have been able to provide opportunities to the Newcomer community of Hamilton. Along the way, I have been able to meet various Newcomer youth from all walks of life. This includes from different ethnicities and religions and at various stages of immigrating to Canada. The common message has been the love of sports. It doesn’t matter if they had previous experience playing or they were new to a sport, they all just want to have fun and enjoy the experience.
The project allows us to reach out and create new bonds with community leaders to support the future of Newcomer youth through sport. We have even had youth bring their elders to the Newcomer Centre to show them around. This has created more opportunities for everyone to grow a stronger bond through sport. One of these opportunities came two weeks ago, when myself and YMCA staff were invited to the local mosque, this was a very exciting and humbling experience for everyone involved. We had a great time meeting with the leaders, elders, and families at the mosque. We used this opportunity to inform the community of the basketball camp that would be taking place at the downtown YMCA during the first two weeks of July for both Newcomer boys and girls. This initiative is in partnership with Basketball Ontario and we are very excited about it. Many parents are excited to hear news of the camp and we have a strong interest. We have also continued to build additional relationships with other community and religious groups.
The future looks bright for the Centre for Newcomers and the City of Hamilton.