Athlete ambassadors making a difference in high schools across the
TORONTO, Feb. 27, 2012 /CNW/ - Today, Ian Troop, Chief Executive Officer
of the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games Organizing Committee
(TO2015) officially introduced the Make It Happen School program.
TO2015's Make It Happen program provides Grade 9 and 10 students with a
greater understanding of the dedication, commitment and hard work
necessary to achieve goals, with a broader focus on character
development and overall personal achievement.
"TO2015's Make It Happen program is a great way to give our Canadian
athletes the opportunity to use their experience in sport to motivate
and inspire the youth of today," said Troop. "We've created a program
that inspires high school students to work hard and pursue their
dreams, but also to hopefully create a legacy program that will live on
past the Toronto 2015 Games."
"I have really enjoyed being an ambassador for the TO2015 Make It Happen
program," said Jason Burnett, Beijing 2008 silver medallist. "I was shy
in high school and didn't take advantage of the social and intellectual
opportunities that were offered to me, so it is great when the kids
participate and are inspired by my story to pursue their own dreams."
Each school is paired with an athlete ambassador who visits the school
at least twice during the school year. The athletes work with the
students in an intimate classroom setting where they have the
opportunity to share life experiences and talk about goal setting and
overcoming obstacles. Students can also communicate with the athletes
through online channels such as email, Twitter, Skype and Facebook.
"As a physical educator, I know better than anyone that as students
transition into high school, they have a high attrition rate from
sport," said Emily Smethurst, Head of Physical Education, Athletic
Director T.L. Kennedy Secondary School and Make It Happen School
Coordinator. "Having Jason come in and speak to our students has been a
unique opportunity to gain a glimpse into the life of one of Canada's
top athletes. His stories concretely demonstrate to our students the
true value of hard work and determination."
The Make It Happen program is currently being pilot tested in 20 schools
across the Greater Golden Horseshoe region and Ottawa with 20 elite
current and retired Canadian athletes, but is actively recruiting
additional schools and athletes for the official launch of the program
in the fall of 2012.
To view the complete list of schools and athletes involved with the Make
It Happen program, or to learn more about the program, click here.
About the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games
The Pan American Games are one of the world's largest international
multi-sport events, held every four years for athletes of the 41 member
nations of the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO). The Games
comprise a mix of Olympic Summer Games sports, as well as traditional
Pan American sports. The Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games will
draw 10,000 athletes and officials and feature 48 sports in 17
municipalities across the Greater Golden Horseshoe area. The Toronto
2015 Pan American Games will take place July 10-26 and the Parapan
American Games August 7-14. For more information about the Games,
please visit toronto2015.org.
Video with caption: "Make It Happen". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20120227_C7603_VIDEO_EN_10467.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20120227_C7603_PHOTO_EN_10467.jpg&clientName=Toronto%202015%20Pan%2FParapan%20American%20Games&caption=Make%20It%20Happen&title=Make%20It%20Happen&headline=
Image with caption: "Paralympian Chelsey Gotell greets Don Bosco Catholic Secondary School (CNW Group/Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120227_C7603_PHOTO_EN_10457.jpg
Image with caption: "Olympian Jason Burnett gives motivational presentation to T. L Kennedy Secondary School (CNW Group/Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120227_C7603_PHOTO_EN_10459.jpg
SOURCE Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games
For further information:
Communications Advisor, TO2015