New soccer program will teach skills and drills to 200 boys and girls
TORONTO, Aug. 21, 2012 /CNW/ - Toronto FC's First Team and Coaching Staff, along with 200 youth from the KickStart program, were on hand as the MLSE Team Up Foundation and Kia Canada Inc. kicked off a new soccer program aimed at kids aged 6 to 12 years on Tuesday. The event, held at the Kia Training Ground, Toronto FC's new practice facility, celebrated the announcement of the KickStart program, as well as field enhancements that will take place later this fall at Dentonia soccer pitch at Crescent Town - one of the pitches hosting the program.
KickStart is a free six week program running in 10 Toronto Community Housing communities across the city. The program will teach 200 kids soccer skills, while also providing them with valuable self-esteem, fair play and leadership lessons.
"Kids need opportunity, supportive leadership and deliberate practice. The six-week KickStart program provides participants with these three very important elements and highlights the importance of recreational space," said Bruce Kidd, chair, MLSE Team Up Foundation.
In addition to Dr. Kidd and the Toronto FC players and coaches, Robert Staffieri, Director of Marketing, Kia Canada Inc. and Eugene Jones, president and CEO, Toronto Community Housing Corporation were also in attendance for Tuesday's announcement.
"Drive Change is about making a positive difference in Canadian communities by providing an opportunity for youth to develop their skills while actively enjoying the sport with our long-time partners Toronto FC and Team Up Foundation," said Mr. Staffieri. "This is our third consecutive year supporting with a pitch enhancement in the GTA, and we are honoured to be able to positively impact local communities."
The improvements to the pitch at Dentonia will include a new storage shed, the installation of covered team benches and spectator seating as well as mini goal posts to facilitate multiple teams practicing on one pitch. This marks the third pitch in the past three years that the MLSE Team Up Foundation has helped upgrade through its partnership with Kia.
"Programs like KickStart help make our communities more vibrant and healthy by engaging youth through sport and leadership opportunities. When everyone works together--residents, private partners, community organizations and Toronto Community Housing--we can build safer neighbourhoods and a better city."
About the Organizations
The MLSE Team Up Foundation believes all kids should have access to sport and the opportunity to develop lasting dreams on the playing field. With the support of all four MLSE teams - 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, the MLSE Team Up Foundation has invested more than $6.5 million into our community. For more information visit mlseteamupfoundation.org or follow @TeamUpFdn.
Kia Canada Inc. (www.kia.ca - www.facebook.com/kiacanada) -- a maker of quality vehicles for the young-at-heart -- is a subsidiary of Kia Motors Corporation (KMC) in Korea was founded in 1999 and sells and services high quality class leading vehicles like the Soul, Forte, Optima and Sorento through a network of 176 dealers nationwide. Kia Canada Inc. employs 163 people in its Mississauga, Ontario headquarters and four regional offices across Canada. Kia's brand slogan -- "The Power to Surprise" -- represents the company's global commitment to surprise the world by providing exciting & inspiring experiences that go beyond expectations.
Toronto Community Housing
Toronto Community Housing (www.torontohousing.ca) is Canada's largest social housing provider and home to more than 164,000 tenants with low and moderate incomes—about six per cent of Toronto's population. Toronto Community Housing and its subsidiaries employ 1,400 staff in a broad range of jobs, who deliver its mission to provide affordable housing, connect tenants to services and opportunities, and work together to build healthy communities.
SOURCE: KIA Canada Inc.
For further information:
Media Contacts: Jamie Deans, MLSE, (416) 815-5445
Mike Masaro, Toronto FC, (416) 815-5500 ext. 5399