The Toronto Sport Leadership is a collaborative partnership model that has brought together six organizations for a single goal – to offer certification sport based programs to students with the goal of increasing employment opportunities.
The summer of 2005 was dubbed the "summer of the gun" due to the number of gun related injuries and deaths. The Toronto’s Vital Signs report made a link between indicated youth violence and youth unemployment (then at a 10 year high.) The Mayor's Panel on Community Safety created a Sport Working Group – with the intention of developing initiatives that would use sport to develop employment opportunities. Six organizations that were part of the Sport Working Group developed the Toronto Sport Leadership Model.(The six organizations were: The Toronto Community foundation, the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and the Toronto Catholic District School Board, YMCA of Greater Toronto and the United Way of Greater Toronto).
The partners studied other successful youth programs and using past practices developed a model to pilot the Toronto Sport Leadership Program. Generous donations from private donors funded year one of the program. The program was extremely successful and has been in operation ever since.
In the first 8 years over 1,100 students have completed the program. The City of Toronto and the YMCA have both benefited by having these dedicated and enthusiastic graduates work at camps, pools and sport programs.
The program continues to grow and evolve each year. In Year 8 TSLP welcomed the Ryerson Rams Athletic Department, the Tri-Mentoring Program at Ryerson, & WaterART Fitness International. TSLP has grown from 100 students with three programs in 2006 to just over 300 spots and the choice of 11 programs.
Links to background and news release documents (in PDF format, opens in a new window, or right-click and select download):
- The 2013 Valedictorian Speech, by Kristyna Pistekova, TSLP Year 8 Student
- The 2012 Valedictorian Speech, by Michael Olarewaju, TSLP Year 7 Student
- The History of TSLP
- NEWS FROM CNW GROUP
- City of Toronto news release