Overview

Students from Sprott School of Business & Varsity Athletics at Carleton University are collaborating with the communities of Masset, BC, and Longido, Tanzania, to co-create sport and wellness business opportunities. Courts for Change programs are designed to allow student-athletes to share their talent and love of sport and healthy community living while learning about creative design and social entrepreneurship projects. Projects for 2022/23 include online coaching, high-performance training, a basketball court to be built in Tanzania, a tsunami tower/basketball court design in Masset, and a new Shopify business promoting sport participation for girls. As a Courts for Change Future Funder, you are building the capacity of our Carleton Athletics community to positively impact communities around the world and supporting an experiential learning opportunity that develops the creativity, leadership, and teamworking skills of our students.

Throughout the academic year, students in the Courts for Change program build on existing social, economic, and wellness development initiatives within partner communities to learn new skills in social entrepreneurship. Carleton students work with local partners to explore business and entrepreneurship fundamentals, participate in customized sports and wellness training programs, and support the sustainability of the programs. An integral part of our student’s learning experience is traveling to our partner communities to facilitate their collaborative work.

The Background

The goal of the Courts for Change project is to nurture collaboration and partnership between student-athletes at Carleton University and our partner communities. We aim to utilize our respective backgrounds and worldviews to create greater realities and future opportunities for partnerships. Through the promotion of two-way dialogue and participatory research methods, the project strengthens cross-cultural relationships and enables students and participating community members to develop community-based, culturally appropriate solutions to challenges determined by community members. In our 2022/2023 program, we have three Courts for Change Projects that our students will participate in:

  • Basketball Court Design/Training (Masset, BC): student-athletes will lead training, film analysis, and general basketball IQ development sessions with student-athletes, teachers, and community leaders at Gudangaay Tlaats’gaa Naay Secondary in Masset, BC. This project will work to support the input of community youth in the design of a new tsunami tower, which will house a new basketball/sport court.
  • Girls in Sport Entrepreneurship (Masset, BC): Carleton student-athletes will work with the grade 12 entrepreneurship class at Gudangaay Tlaats’gaa Naay Secondary in Masset, BC to build a Shopify business that will sell custom Haida sports bras and promote girls staying in sport. The program is designed to encourage sport, wellness, and success in post-secondary education.
  • Basketball Court Build/Training (Longido, Tanzania): Carleton student-athletes will be working alongside community members in Longido, Tanzania to build a new basketball court. The project will involve coaches and players from the Carleton basketball program working to support coach and program development in the Longido basketball community.

The Rollout

Funds for this project will be used to cover project costs associated with eliminating barriers to online collaboration throughout the year. Our project partners are in remote regions and our program is designed to make collaboration effective and enjoyable for students.

Funds will also be used for project-specific costs in our partnered communities. We will collaborate with leaders in the community to cover expenses associated with activities our community partners partake in. This includes but is not limited to travel expenses to regional basketball tournaments and team equipment restoration.

Finally, the funds raised for our project will go to support student-athletes traveling between our partner communities for their course. Student-athletes from Carleton will travel to their partnering communities to work with their project team. These trips include cultural activities, work sessions, and team-building activities. Teachers and students from partner communities also have the opportunity to travel to Ottawa to train and study at Carleton. Our student-athletes will host their partners and share everything that Ottawa and Carleton University has to offer. Expenses may include airfare, housing, teambuilding, cultural events, rental car, etc.

The Impact

This project serves as a unique and meaningful opportunity for Carleton students and indigenous communities to connect and cultivate a mutually beneficial partnership. This project creates a context in which Carleton students and collaborating communities alike can engage together with a shared goal of advancing progress within their community while expanding learning opportunities for student-athletes.

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, and 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.

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