By Tyler Griffin
The Mattamy Athletic Centre on Tuesday provided the playing field for the first Big Sports Day in a new partnership between Ryerson athletics, Toronto Community Housing and the Toronto Blue Jays.
The event, which will be hosted monthly, gives marginalized youth an afternoon of physical activity and educational support with Ryerson student-athletes.
Over 70 Home Run Scholars from grades 1 to 6 participated in activities promoting teamwork and leadership. The Home Run Scholars program is a national initiative by the Jays Care Foundation, the Blue Jays’ charitable arm. The program aims to improve high school graduation rates and post-secondary transitions for youth in low-income communities.
Participants were given the opportunity to tour Ryerson’s athletic facilities, engage directly with student-athletes and experience a university campus.
“Bringing these kids into a post-secondary education environment is very important. The idea is that they see a facility like this and it plants a seed,” said Jays Care Executive Director Robert Witchel. “They’re learning from students who are fairly young and I think Ryerson bringing all of these athletes to the table is really powerful.”