Partnership to give access to basketball in underserved communities

TORONTO, May 22, 2014 /CNW/ - Bay Street Hoops and Canada Basketball are pleased to announce a two-year partnership that will ensure kids in underserved GTA communities have access to basketball clinics in their communities.

"This partnership with Canada Basketball fits perfectly with our mission," says Taje Mohabir, chair of Bay Street Hoops. "With the city still in the glow from the Toronto Raptors exciting playoff run, basketball has never been more popular. But it's not just in the stands that the love for the game has grown. Basketball has long been a popular way for many young kids to get their first experience in a team sport. We are excited to create new opportunities for young people together with the national basketball federation."

Both organizations recognize the barriers which exist for too many young people who would like to participate and have access to skills and drills clinics - particularly in underserved communities where there may be a lack of practice opportunities, as well as families who may not be able to afford the cost of equipment and transportation to training facilities.

This program will see Canada Basketball's Junior Academy athletes and coaches deliver skills clinics in GTA communities recognized as underserved, using Canada Basketball curriculum. The program will also leave a legacy in the community through the purchase of equipment or a monetary donation.

"We are thrilled to partner with Bay Street Hoops on this initiative," says Rowan Barrett, Executive Vice President and Assistant General Manager, Men's High Performance, Canada Basketball. "This program allows us to motivate and inspire youth to embrace basketball, as well show the young athletes in our Junior Academy program the importance of giving back to the community."

Canada Basketball and Bay Street Hoops will develop community selection criteria and will work with local community organizations to deliver programming.

About Bay Street Hoops
Bay Street Hoops is one of Toronto's largest sports-related charity event, bringing together fun, community and charity to make sports more accessible to children and youth in Toronto. Since 1995, more than $2.3 million has been raised for children and youth charities in the Toronto area, including $120,000 in 2013. This year, over 600 players from Toronto's leading law and accounting firms, financial services companies and other corporations, as well as hundreds of spectators and volunteers, attended the tournament and its related events in support of Special Olympics Ontario and KidSport. www.baystreethoops.com

About Canada Basketball and Junior Academy
Canada Basketball is a private, not-for-profit corporation committed to excellence in leading the growth of the game domestically and in pursuing medal performances on the international stage.

Currently in its second year, Junior Academy is a pilot program that provides early training and development for some of our nation's elite prospects who may one day represent Canada internationally. Forty identified players in grades seven (birth year 2001) and eight (2000) participate in monthly on-court training, strength and conditioning sessions, as well as leadership development workshops.

For more information, please visit www.basketball.ca.

SOURCE: Bay Street Hoops

For further information:

Media contacts:

Markus Stadelmann-Elder
Bay Street Hoops
Phone: 416-944-2627 ext. 284
E-mail: mselder@maytree.com

Scott Hastie
Canada Basketball - Communications
Phone: 416-614-8037 ext. 217
E-mail: communications@basketball.ca

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Bay Street Hoops

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