African Giants, a non-profit organization co-founded by Toronto Raptors Vice Chairman and President Masai Ujiri, has announced the opening of a new basketball court at Londonderry School in Edmonton, Alberta, sponsored by Sun Life Canada, and with support from the Toronto Raptors Foundation and MLSE.
The court, which according to Ujiri is the first of its kind outside the African continent, represents a milestone in the twenty-year history of the African Giants and underscores the organization’s mission of empowering youth and embracing the diverse African diaspora residing in Canada, Ujiri said. .
“Our commitment has always been to harness the power of basketball to empower African youth and inspire positive change,” Ujiri said.
“By introducing our first Canadian court in Edmonton’s Londonderry neighbourhood, we aim to create a space that nurtures talent, leadership, well-being and unity, in a community that serves youth from the African diaspora and beyond, right here in our own backyard. .
“The official court opening ceremony included a co-ed basketball clinic and life skills education session conducted by NBA staff and African Giants coaches. These remarks were shared by my distinguished guests and community leaders,” he added.
Also speaking at the event, Paul Goliath, Sun Life’s vice president of global partnerships and marketing planning, said the organization supporting the African giants aims to expand equitable access to community spaces, helping to ensure young people make healthy living a priority in their lives. .
“At Sun Life, our goal is to help Canadians live healthier lives. Guiding young people to be more active will have a tremendous impact on their mental and physical health for years to come,” said Goliath.
Tanya Mruk, Vice President of Community Engagement and Social Impact at MLSE, said:
“The Toronto Raptors’ MLSE Charitable Foundation works to empower the next generation to reach their full potential by providing high-quality sports programming, investing in like-minded organizations, and creating safe places for young people to play.
“As long-standing community builders, we believe in the power of place to unite communities through sport and are proud to support the African giants in their first stadium outside the continent.”
“The basketball court will serve as a development hub, providing a safe space for young people to hone their skills and develop values such as teamwork, leadership and resilience.”
Also speaking at the event, Darryl Robertson, Superintendent of Edmonton Public Schools, said: “We are grateful for the renovated basketball court at Londonderry School. Spaces, like basketball courts, are an integral part of the school community, where students gather to stay active Enhance teamwork, improve skills, and communicate with each other.
“This vibrant new court will make a difference in the lives of Londonderry School students for years to come.”
The African giants said Edmonton Stadium is an extension of their commitment to build 100 stadiums across Africa; “So far, 29 new courts have been unveiled in nine African countries.”