Beyond the Rim, an inspiring community outreach program, has earned Centennial College the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association Community Service award.
The award recognizes a CCAA member institution that has successfully developed and administered a community relations program. The Community Service award was presented at the CCAA’s Hall of Fame Banquet in Toronto.
Beyond the Rim, a completely free program, is offered in partnership with the Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Foundation and supported by Centennial College’s Athletics and Recreation department and Enactus Centennial. The program provides opportunities to youngsters to gain valuable life skills training and dynamic basketball skill development and training.
Youth from three Scarborough communities are offered one hour of education and another hour of on-court play. The program helps encourage children to continue along a path of academics as well as provide positive health benefits through basketball. It runs every Saturday from September to April and is led by a group of student coaches and volunteers as they mentor more than 60 boys and girls on average per week.
“This initiative is a great example of how CCAA student-athletes are giving back to their communities and making a significant difference in the lives of children and youth while at the same time deriving the personal satisfaction and growth that comes from volunteering,” said David Munro, CCAA VP Sport Development.
“It is a perfect example that every CCAA institution can learn from to create their own community programs.”
Through their leadership, the local youth develop a stronger health conscious, responsibility, sense of caring and become more inclusive citizens in the local community.
Beyond the Rim provides Centennial student-athletes a terrific opportunity to engage at-risk youth and promote holistic and sports skills development. The partnership expands a volunteer pool to develop mentorship and academic programs, leadership opportunities and mentorship roles.
The program provides a safe, inclusive environment for children to enhance their basketball skills and academic skills, focusing specifically on financial literacy, entrepreneurship, environmental and social skill development.
Over the years, the program has helped encourage children to continue along a path of academics as well as to provide health benefits through basketball.
“Positive connections and friendships were forged that will make a difference in the lives of many of the students for years to come,” said Munro. “Equally important were the benefits and value the student-athletes received while being part of the mentoring process.”
Kareem Rodney, the Colts Extramural Basketball Head Coach who is the lead on Beyond the Rim, was presented the Citizen Community MVP by the Toronto Raptors on Nov. 29, 2015 for his leadership. Rodney has been volunteering with the program since 2009.