N.E.T.

Systemic racism and decades of municipal, provincial and federal policies have had an adverse effect on Toronto’s Black communities.  As a result, there are alarmingly high levels of Black males at risk of not completing high school, being unable to gain meaningful employment and/or coming into repeated contact with the criminal justice system. 

Black males that are unable to obtain legitimate employment often create their own, illegal, means of generating income.  These illicit activities contribute to the lack of safety and increased police presence that commonly plague underserved neighbourhoods throughout the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

N.E.T. is an on-going program that addresses the lack of alternative educational and employment opportunities for the above-mentioned demographic.  We work with these “high risk” youth to provide and/or connect them with existing free/low-cost:

  1. knowledge of Self / Black-focused education;
  2. programs to earn a high school diploma (GED);
  3. educational scholarships and bursaries;
  4. employment / job search assistance;
  5. skilled trades apprenticeships / training;
  6. small business training / mentorship;
  7. personal / family counseling; and
  8. pardon processing assistance

“When society denies a people legitimate opportunities for advancement,
they develop alternative codes of honour and success.”


Shoot the Right Shot is an initiative designed to address youth violence and gang conflict by creating opportunities to teach youth how to co-exist with each other, rather than hating and killing one another.

The initiative consists of special events, basketball tournaments and various recreation-based programs designed to attract and engage the “high risk” youth population (often avoided and/or neglected by mainstream community agencies), with a clear and consistent message that they truly are their brother’s keeper.

“Be your Brother’s keeper, ‘cause times are gettin’ steeper…”

Shoot the Right Shot

No Books No Basketball

"At the top of your game, but your grades are a shame? We can help!"

homework assistance       one-on-one tutoring       basketball training        nutrition & fitness lessons

No Books, No Basketball - Academic and Athletic Mentoring Program is designed to teach students at high risk of academic disengagement/failure and/or gang involvement, the fundamentals of education and basketball, emphasizing the importance of education with the same intensity as basketball training. 

In order to participate in the basketball training component of the program, participants are required to attend homework and tutoring sessions.  Staff, tutors and coaches set and maintain the highest standard of attendance, behaviour and academic achievement in order to instill the work ethic and values that will be critical in order for participants to achieve personal, social, athletic and professional success.

We help athletes reach their full academic and athletic potential through mentoring, counseling, tutoring and constant communication with staff.  We provide athletes with the proper conditioning methods, strength training, nutritional guidance, sports psychology, sports medicine and basketball-specific exercises.

We stress and emphasize academic performance first - athletics only comes into play once the athlete is excelling in his/her academics.

Human performance is based upon their level of knowledge, which comes through education, which in turn produces athletic excellence.

We strive to make the student athlete achieve the highest levels of success.  We provide high-quality instruction and instill discipline through our elite staff that possesses the ability to lead our youth to higher levels of achievement.

 


Fast Break

FASTBREAK
Basketball Breakfast Program

 “For school-aged children that need that extra nutrition to get through the day…”

For growing youth, the most important meal of the day is breakfast.  Unfortunately, for too many youth, this may be their only meal for the day – making it that much more important.  Many youth in underserved communities go to school hungry, making it virtually impossible for them to learn at their full potential.  No one can concentrate on an empty stomach, so having a healthy breakfast makes a big difference.

Studies have shown that there is a dramatic improvement in health and academic performance amongst youth who eat a healthily breakfast.  The purpose of the Fastbreak Basketball Breakfast Program is to help provide at-risk youth with a level playing field in the classroom - on and off the court, good health can lead to a better life for these youth.


Reach the Rim

REACH THE RIM
Fitness and Nutrition Training Program

“You have to be committed…”

For any aspiring basketball player, the ultimate goal is to reach the rim.  In order to accomplish such a feat, one has to be super fit and strong.  Reach the Rim teaches youth that achieving fitness is a commitment to themselves and that no one else can commit to their bodies.

We emphasize that it takes discipline and a willingness to make sacrifices.  Our motto is “Don’t cheat yourself.”  For optimal results, participants are encouraged to dedicate 90 minutes a day, 5 times a week to cardiovascular exercise. 

We instill at an early age the importance of making eating right a habit (i.e. minimize junk food!)  We encourage a diet full of fish, whole grain pasta, vegetables, fruits and plenty of water. 

We consistently teach participants that being active and healthy are important parts of being a good student and that using exercise to blow off steam and to re-energize will actually help them do better with their school work.

Getting their daily servings of the proper foods combined with regular exercise will help talented young athletes reach the rim.

 



Summer Drop-In SUMMER DROP-IN
Basketball Mentorship Program

“Who’s got next?”

During the summer, our organization participates in the provincially funded Focus On Youth initiative that provides free use of school space to community-based organization.  Last year we conducted a drop-in basketball mentorship program in the Kingston Galloway community at St. Martin de Porres Catholic School.  The program ran 7-days a week for 6 weeks and was very successful. 

The program provided our staff, board members and volunteers the opportunity to get to know the youth in the community and provide academic and employment counseling, while enjoying the sport of basketball. 

We were also able to employ two secondary school students for the summer and provide valuable leadership training.  This year, drop-in basketball was available every Saturday from 11am - 4pm, and we intend to offer the program every summer.

 



SUMMER BASKETBALL BOOT CAMP

“Endurance and Focus…only the fittest of the fit will survive”

In addition to our drop-in program, this year we offered a low-cost summer “Basketball Boot Camp” at St. Martin de Porres Catholic School for youth ages 10-13.  The camp was a training program designed to increase the children’s mental and physical toughness.  Activities were designed to build stamina, endurance, strength and perseverance - taking talented young ballers to the next level by providing:

- fundamental basketball drills & training
- fitness and nutrition lessons and
- personal coaching and mentoring

Parents were able to choose from 5 weeks of camp in order to accommodate their schedules and budgets and all of the equipment was generously donated by Sport Chek (Forzani Group Inc.) through their “Power of Sports” giving program.

Camp ran 5 days a week from 9am - 3pm under the supervision of 2 nba staff and a secondary school student placement worker from Blessed Mother Theresa Secondary School in Malvern.


B.R.O.S. (Brothers Reaching Our Sons)
Mentorship Recreation Program

“Creating young men - one boy at a time”

Past experience has shown that the demographic particularly vulnerable to academic disengagement/failure and/or gang recruitment are Black males in grades 7-8. 

The B.R.O.S. Mentoring Recreation Program addresses the lack of positive adult male role models for young, Black males in the Kingston-Galloway community  Far too many youth have been pushed out or dropped out of school, come into conflict with the law and/or have criminal records. 

We target “high risk” youth in grades 7-8 because past experience has shown that If not properly equipped with the right mindset and decision-making tools, these youth can often take a dramatic turn for the worse in their early high school careers, resulting in disciplinary problems, conflict with the law and/or academic failure.

Using their love for the game of basketball as an outreach and engagement tool, participants are placed in a structured setting whereby youth can draw on the experiences and guidance of adult male role models who in many cases, have had troubled pasts but have overcome their difficulties by learning to make wiser life decisions.

The goal is to help these youth develop a healthy and positive self-image, strong desire to build (instead of destroy) their communities, and positive employment, life-skills and educational outcomes, before a vicious cycle of repeated contact with the law develops.



 

PLAYGROUND
Basketball Court Revitalization Project

 

 

“Creating safe spaces for youth to play and keep active, fit and healthy”

It takes a community to encourage healthy behaviour in children and youth.  When you start children and youth off with a healthy, active lifestyle, they have more energy and self-confidence to pursue their goals for the future.  Physical activity is more important than ever.  It will help to counter the health problems from being physically inactive as well as reduce crime in high needs, underserved communities where recreation and play are not being adequately resourced.

The nba has paid a great deal of attention to how youth are evolving and has looked at the deficits in these communities that are not being addressed - poor fitness and nutrition are one of the many problems uncovered.  Exercise reduces childhood obesity, prevents disease and promotes well-being.  Shared athletic activity also brings people and communities together.  It can give bored, young people a life-affirming alternative to a life of gangs and crime.

A healthy investment in sports facilities, school gyms and outdoor basketball courts is in the best interest of all community members, not just those with a love for their game of choice.  A major barrier to physical activity is the cost associated with participating in a sport or recreational activity. 

Getting youth active doesn’t have to be cost-prohibitive.  We have to draw from community resources including public health and recreational professionals, local businesses and all branches of government to improve the level of physical activity amongst youth.

 

The main objectives of the PLAYGROUND- Basketball Court Revitalization Project are to:

  1. repair and revitalize outdoor basketball courts and community spaces located in community housing in underserved communities across the GTA;
  2. increase the level of outdoor physical activity amongst youth living in underserved communities across the GTA;
  3. encourage residents to socialize with youth and participate in outdoor activities in order to foster a safer community environment; and
  4. encourage youth to take pride in their communities and to take responsibility for the preservation of  spaces that have been created for their use

The immediate outcomes will include:

  1. instant community beautification;
  2. restoration of clean, safe spaces for youth to play within their community; and
  3. reduction of youth loitering, vandalism, peer conflict and/or criminal activities