Niagara youth learn life skills at Unity Games

Unity Games student volunteers

Unity Games student volunteers

About 100 Niagara youth will gather at Brock on Saturday, April 10 for the inaugural Unity Games Day.

The games will teach life skills such as teamwork, co-operation and leadership. It will include participants from the United Way of St. Catharines and District and the Resource Association for Teens (RAFT) after-school programs. Student, staff and faculty volunteers will lead the activities in Walker Complex.

James Mandigo, a Physical Education and Kinesiology professor at Brock, developed the program in 2006, when he conducted Unity Games for youth in El Salvador and the British Virgin Islands. He used sport and physical activities to encourage healthy choices and living skills in a country that has the second-highest homicide rate among youth.

At the Unity Games, students make new friends while learning positive life skills, he said.

“The Unity Games are a great way for Niagara youth to come together to mark the World Health Organization’s World Health Day,” Mandigo said.

Community Connections and Youth University are two of the many University departments supporting the Unity Games. The games have provided student volunteers with the chance to combine their academic studies with community service.

The games have engaged “students from all years of study and a wide rage of backgrounds for a common cause,” said Kristen Smith, Community Connections co-ordinator. “This has been a positive experience for Brock volunteers. And it will also be a life-changing event for many of the youth who will visit our campus.”

Sodexo, the University’s campus caterer, will provide a nutritious lunch for all youth and volunteers.

The games will be from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

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2 comments on “Niagara youth learn life skills at Unity Games”

  1. Brandon says:

    Whole lot of lofty words in this here article. The Unity Games are ‘positive’ and ‘life-changing.’ There is some form of ‘common cause.’ It’s about ‘health’ and apparently aims to lower homicide rates, while giving students the opportunity to make friends and learn life skills.

    This sound a little weird to anyone else? Why is it the article doesn’t mention WHAT exactly these Unity Games are? Is it some sort of cult? Is it just one of those silly teamwork-building rope-walking events at Wood End we all hated so much as kids? I don’t get it.

  2. Rob says:

    This event was so much to all the kids who participated, it was the chance to go out to meet new people, who could take part in all kinds of activities that challenged their understanding of this world. They all learned through a variety of life skills to get along, and to just have fun. Thanks to Community Connections, and to the Dept of Physical Education for their commitment to this event. I was a part of it as a volunteer, and I can tell you this was a wonderful event, with great community spirit at its core.

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