Published on Brock University (http://www.brocku.ca)
More than 140 youth from Niagara came together at Brock this past weekend to learn valuable life skills while taking part in the third annual Unity Games.
The event is an engaging and active way to unite youth involved with after school programs run by United Way and the RAFT (Niagara Resource Service for Youth). Participants partake in co-operative activities that teach skills such as collaboration, fair play, leadership and respect.
“Unity Games is an experience that really brings the community together,” says James Mandigo, co-director for the Centre for Healthy Development at Brock.
Building upon the energy and successes of co-ordinating international Unity Games in Central America and the Caribbean, Mandigo brought the program to Niagara in 2010. The games are designed to facilitate a learning experience that involves physical education and sport programming that engages youth and helps to develop social skills.
“It’s really special to see Brock students working with youth from our community,” says Mandigo. “It’s a great environment and the appreciation from both students and youth participants is what continues to make this annual event so successful. ”
More than 30 Brock student volunteered and used their knowledge and energy to work with the youths aged 9 to 13.
“It’s a fun day to be involved with,” says Laura MacLean, volunteer and event management co-ordinator for Student Life and Community Experience at Brock.
“Being involved with the previous two Unity Games, I have seen how the physical education programming can engage youth and be used as a developmental tool not only for the youth participants, but the student volunteers as well.”