TORONTO, June 4, 2016 /CNW/ - MLSE Foundation announced ProAction Cops & Kids as this year's recipient of the $50,000 MLSE Foundation Community Action Grant during the annual Toronto Police Games at The Hangar at Downsview Park on Saturday morning. MLSE Foundation representatives were joined by Jean Milligan, ProAction Cops & Kids Executive Director and youth from the organization for the announcement. The $50,000 grant will directly support the Bridging Communities and Police through Athletics Expanded program (BCPA-Expanded).
"We're excited to announce ProAction Cops & Kids and their BCPA-Expanded program as the recipient of the MLSE Foundation Community Action Grant," said Michael Bartlett, Executive Director, MLSE Foundation. "Their collaboration between youth, local police and community partners is a great initiative that contributes to a more engaged and safer community."
The Bridging Communities and Police through Athletics program (BCPA) is a multisport, three year initiative that began in September 2013. Over the past three years, this program has engaged at risk youth, police and community partners in various sports to increase the physical activity of youth while creating stronger youth-community-police relationships. This initiative is currently being delivered in partnership with the Toronto Police Service (TPS) and the Toronto Police Amateur Athletic Association (TPAAA). BCPA intends to grow this successful program throughout Toronto as well as replicate it in three other ProAction chapters: Durham, Hamilton and Niagara Region, known as BCPA-Expanded.
"Thanks to the generous support of MLSE Foundation, hundreds of kids are being given the opportunity to play in a sport they otherwise would not be able to afford," said Jean Milligan, Executive Director, ProAction Cops & Kids. "With police officers as coaches and mentors, these young people are developing healthier and more active lifestyles while learning how to make positive life choices that lead to safer communities."
The BCPA-Expanded program will provide a unique opportunity for young people to work directly with police officers in a non-threatening, sports focused environment. The BCPA-Expanded program will include over 20 different sports teams across these communities and benefit 600 young people. Officers from different divisions will organize teams in basketball, soccer, flag football, volleyball and/or hockey and recruit up to 20 young people per officer to play on their teams throughout the school year.
The MLSE Foundation Community Action Grant is a $50,000 multisport grant awarded to charitable organizations supporting youth sports programming in the city. Eligible organizations can apply at mlsefoundation.org next season, where submissions are reviewed by a selection committee before a winner is chosen and announced at a special event in their community.
About ProAction Cops & Kids
ProAction Cops & Kids is a charity that for 25 years has supported programs that are developed and delivered by police officers to build strong relationships between officers and at-risk youth. ProAction partners with police services in Toronto, Hamilton, Durham and Niagara Regions to offer a diverse range of programs that engage young people from all backgrounds and with varied interests.
ProAction is proud to support police officers as they reach out to youth in our communities and establish relationships that help lead these young people towards better life choices. While engaging youth in healthy, pro-social activities, police officers are able to develop an understanding of the challenges youth face while mentoring and guiding these young people to success. The mutual understanding and respect that is created builds stronger and safer communities. To learn more about the great programs funded by ProAction Cops & Kids, please visit www.copsandkids.ca.
About MLSE Foundation
MLSE Foundation believes all kids should have access to sport and the opportunity to develop lasting dreams on the playing field. With the support of MLSE's teams, including the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, Toronto FC and Toronto Marlies, the Foundation funds the refurbishment of local athletic facilities and programs that support kids through sports and recreation. Since launching in December 2009, MLSE Foundation has invested more than $19 million into our community. For more information visit mlsefoundation.org, or follow @MLSEFoundation.
SOURCE Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd.
For further information: Media contacts: Melissa Perri, MLSE, 416-815-5524, firstname.lastname@example.org