Visit of local athletes inspires Boys and Girls Club members

Olympic gold medalist Carolyn Waldo and Ottawa 67’s players Travis Gibbons, Ryan Martindale and Cody Lindsay visited children and youth from the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa on Tuesday, Dec. 14. They shared their stories and spoke about what it took them to succeed and about the impact that role models had in their lives. The event was part of “After School With…,” a new initiative to inspire young people to accomplish their goals launched by Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada and supported by Sears Canada.

“We were very excited that Carolyn, Travis, Ryan and Cody came to speak to our children and youth to share their life experiences and what it takes to succeed in their chosen field, whatever it may be,” said Jerrett Defazio, director of programs at the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa. “This is a special opportunity for our kids and we are grateful for Sears’ support in making it possible.”

“After School With…” supported by Sears is a brand new initiative to expose young people to accomplished, respected and inspirational Canadians who understand the importance a positive adult figure can have in a child’s life. Research has found that one-third of children in Grades 4 to 7 could not identify any adults, outside of their family, of importance to them in the community.

“We know that many young people are in search of positive role models to help inspire and motivate them to make healthy decisions in their lives,” said Pam Jolliffe, president and CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada. “Every day at Boys and Girls Clubs across the country, children and youth connect with positive role models whose care and guidance has a lifelong impact.”

“For 45 years Sears Canada has proudly supported Boys and Girls Clubs in their work to create a positive, safe and enriching place to go after school,” said Dene Rogers, president and CEO of Sears Canada. ” ‘After School With…’ is a great way to inspire youth to pursue their dreams and achieve greatness in whatever path they choose.”

“After School With…” events took place throughout November and December in selected Clubs across Canada, each with a different speaker.

The mission of the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa is to provide a safe, supportive place where children and youth can experience new opportunities, overcome barriers, build positive relationships and develop confidence and skills for life. The BGCO has served the Ottawa community since 1923, reaching out to more than 4,500 children and youth each year through after-school, weekend and summer programs that build self-esteem and help to develop stronger social skills.

The Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa is a member of Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, a national movement of clubs with 700 community locations,

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