Published on Brock University (http://www.brocku.ca)
About 100 youth from the region will gather at Brock University on Saturday, April 10, to take part in Niagara’s inaugural Unity Games Day.
Participants from the United Way of St. Catharines & District and the Regional Association for Teens (RAFT) After-School programs will participate in active cooperative activities that teach a variety of life skills such as teamwork, cooperation and leadership. The activities led by student, staff and faculty volunteers will take place in Walker Complex.
Professor James L. Mandigo from Brock’s Department of Physical Education and Kinesiology is enthusiastic to lead this community-wide event. Developed in 2006, the program took Mandigo to El Salvador and the British Virgin Islands where he conducted Unity Games for local youth. 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.
“The Unity Games are a great way for Niagara youth to come together to mark the World Health Organization’s World Health Day,” says Mandigo. “Participants will not only have the opportunity to meet and make new friends, but also learn the fundamental life skills that will a have a positive and lasting impact in their lives now and in the future.”
Community Connections and Youth University are two of the many University departments that have come on board to help support this new initiative. The Games have provided students with the chance to combine their academic studies with community service.
“These Games provided us with the opportunity to engage students from all years of study and a wide range of backgrounds for a common cause,” says 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, since, for many of them, this will be their first time on a University campus.”