Overview

Students from Sprott School of Business & Varsity Athletics at Carleton University are collaborating with the communities of Masset, BC, and Mayo, Yukon, to co-create sport and wellness programs that offer youth the opportunity to share their love of sport and healthy community living. Programs include online coaching, high performance training, health and wellness sessions, sustainable food programs, and mentorship. Carleton students will build on existing social, economic and wellness development initiatives within the communities and work with local partners to explore business and entrepreneurship fundamentals. Students participate in customized sports and wellness training and support the sustainability of the programs. For 2021/2022 we have four Courts for Change Projects that our students will be participating in

Basketball and Design: Student-athletes will be participating in training, film analysis and team building with the Senior Boys Basketball team at Gudangaay Tlaats’gaa Naay Secondary School in Masset, BC. Players and coaches from both schools explore how art and elite sport training can support student-athlete development.

Girls in Sport Mentorship: Female athletes from Carleton will be working with a Grade 10 girls PE class at Gudangaay Tlaats’gaa Naay Secondary School in Masset, BC to develop a program to encourage sport, wellness, and success in post-secondary education.

Yukon High Performance Basketball: Carleton student-athletes will be partnering with players and coaches in the Yukon to create a program for and with young athletes who are looking to improve their skills in sport, school, and personal wellness as student-athletes.

Food Sustainability and Healthy Living: Student-athletes from Carleton will work alongside students and teachers at Gudangaay Tlaats’gaa Naay Secondary School in Masset, BC associated with the culinary arts and garden programs, to explore innovative products and programs which support health and sustainable food systems.

The Background

The goal of this project is to nurture collaboration, partnership, and a love of sport and wellness between students at Carleton University and Northern Indigenous communities in Masset B.C and the Yukon. Through the promotion dialogue and teamwork on geographically distributed teams, the project strengthens cross-cultural relationships and enables participants to develop community-based, culturally appropriate solutions to challenges determined by the community. 

 

A passion for sport and healthy living is the connection that will be the foundation for our projects. In the Yukon, student-athletes face travel and financial costs that make it difficult for young athletes to attend as many sport training sessions with coaches and players as they may like. Courts for Change will use virtual technologies to team with players and coaches to create programs that support young athletes interested in post-secondary sport and education.

 

In Masset, the goal of our collaborative projects is to develop new programs to support student-athlete development. Gudangaay Tlaats’gaa Naay Secondary has a rich tradition of basketball and our program will work with the communities to share training methods and create new entrepreneurial opportunities for students through art. The female athletes from Carleton will be focusing on mentoring Grade 10 girls PE class, supporting those students in their areas of sport and academic interest. The sustainable food and wellness program will allow our Carleton students to work with the food services program Gudangaay Tlaats’gaa Naay Secondary and gain practical skills in social entrepreneurship. A primary goal of all our projects is to help student athletes learn how to build relationships and trust through sport and wellness thus enhancing our sense of community and connection between these partners.

The Rollout

Funds for this project will be used to cover project costs in the partner communities, along with travel costs and on-the-ground expenses for members of Carleton. We will collaborate with leaders in the community to cover expenses associated with our activities in the partner communities.

 

Students from Carleton will travel to the partnering communities to participate in basketball sessions, project work, and mentorship activities. Partners from the Yukon and Gudangaay Tlaats’gaa Naay Secondary will have the opportunity to travel to Ottawa to train and collaborate on project work at Carleton. This will enhance the partnership by ensuring that community members maintain their role as continued collaborators on this project.

The Impact

This project is a way for Carleton students to connect with Northern Indigenous communities in Masset B.C and the Yukon through sport and wellness programs.

At the community level, the Courts for Change projects encourage community youth to:

  • Participate in sport and wellness programs that are important in their community.
  • Develop critical thinking, creativity, and co-design skills through their project work.
  • Develop practical skills in entrepreneurship, business, and virtual teamwork.

For Carleton Students, the Courts for Change Project will:

  • Increase their skills in social entrepreneurship, creative thinking, working in geographically and culturally distributed teams.
  • Develop critical thinking, creativity, and co-design skills through their project work.
  • Allow them to establish long-lasting relationships with community members.

Other Comments

We are still going to Tanzania! The original Courts for Change group is waiting for safe travel to complete the basketball court build in Longido, Tanzania that was generously supported by donors prior to the ongoing pandemic. If you are interested in being a part of this project please connect with us today by emailing robert.smart@carleton.ca!

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