Toronto FC, MLSE Foundation, Kia Canada Inc. and Toronto Community Housing Get The Ball Rolling on the Second Year of Kickstart
Toronto FC, the MLSE Foundation and Kia Canada Inc. teamed up with Toronto Community Housing (TCH) to kick off the second year of KickStart, a free eight-week program for 240 kids aged 6-12 years and the building of Trethewey Pitch on Wednesday. Held at Kia Training Ground, Toronto FC’s state-of-the-art practice facility, kids were able to build their soccer skills on the same pitch as the pros and learn valuable lessons in self-esteem, fair play and leadership.
Toronto FC’s first team, academy players, coaching staff and president and general manager Kevin Payne were all in attendance to celebrate the KickStart launch.
“We are very excited for the second year of the KickStart program along with our partners at MLSE Foundation, Kia and Toronto Community Housing. We’re happy to host the kids at our training facility where they can interact and learn from our players,” said Toronto FC President and General Manager Kevin Payne. “Millions of children around the world play soccer and we want to ensure those in our community have the same opportunity.”
KickStart programs will be held in 12 different communities across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and will focus on using sport as a tool to engage with youth and their families. It also aims to promote skill-building, community-building and healthy active living. Funded by MLSE Foundation, each host community will be outfitted with equipment, permits and staff.
“During Toronto Community Housing’s Year of the Youth, we are expanding our programs so that children have the skills necessary to make positive changes in their own lives and the well-being of their neighbourhoods,” said Eugene Jones Jr., President and CEO, Toronto Community Housing. “Thanks to KickStart, talented young athletes are given just such a chance through expert coaching and through opportunities to learn life skills and make new friends.”
This year’s KickStart celebration focused on the refurbishment to Tretheway Park in Etobicoke. The MLSE Foundation converted the park into a soccer pitch with goal posts, team benches and spectator seating. The remaining 11 proposed communities are Teesdale/Detonia Park, Regent Park, Kingston-Galloway, Victoria Park, Glendower, Grandravine, Mabelle, Lawrence Heights, Rowntree, Scarlettwood Court, and 3190 Kingston Road.
“Kia Canada is thrilled to be in partnership with Toronto FC, the MLSE Foundation and Toronto Community Housing to execute the Tretheway Pitch refurbishment, which expresses our commitment to the sport of soccer at the grassroots level,” said Robert Staffieri, Director of Marketing, Kia Canada Inc. “The sport and pitch will serve great service a for today and tomorrows youth in building lasting skills, friendships and memories.”
For more information about KickStart, please visit www.mlsefoundation.org/