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September 28, 2013
Steve Nash Youth Basketball program launched in Toronto
The City of Toronto and partners today launched the nine-week Steve Nash Youth Basketball program at an event featuring basketball skills and drills at L'Amoreaux Community Recreation Centre.

Joining City representatives and young participants at the launch were program partners Rowan Barrett, Assistant GM/Executive Vice President, Senior Men's Program, Canada Basketball; Ron Yeung, Manager of Domestic Development, Canada Basketball; and Michael Cvitkovic, Executive Director of Ontario Basketball.

"Today's launch of the Steve Nash Youth Basketball programs offers the participants the opportunity to engage in an activity that builds self-esteem, confidence and basketball skills," said Councillor Anthony Perruzza (Ward 8 York West), Chair of the City's Community Development and Recreation Committee. "This wonderful partnership that the City shares with Canada Basketball and Ontario Basketball fulfills our mutual objectives of getting more young people active at an early age."

"The quality of life of all Torontonians is front and centre in everything we do," said Councillor Mike Del Grande (Ward 39 Scarborough-Agincourt). "Partnering with Canada Basketball and Ontario Basketball has enabled us to engage more community members in activities that lead to a sense of unity, encourage healthy development and promote sportsmanship and healthy living."

Steve Nash currently plays point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers and is General Manager of the Senior Men's National Team for Canada Basketball. The Steve Nash Youth Basketball program, which was developed by Canada Basketball and endorsed by Steve Nash, teaches fundamental basketball skills, sportsmanship and an appreciation of the sport. The program works with Toronto's Parks, Forestry and Recreation division to positively influence young people through basketball. The program engages children and youth age six to 14 to highlight their potential and build character, discipline and self-esteem.

The program follows the guidelines of Sport Canada's Long-Term Athlete Development model. The program's format works in conjunction with the basketball programs offered by Parks, Forestry and Recreation.

“Ontario Basketball is thrilled to partner with the City of Toronto and Canada Basketball for the growth of basketball by way of Steve Nash Youth Basketball,” said Cvitkovic. “Basketball participation is reaching historic heights in our province. It is important for us to continue to develop key partnerships aimed at improving access and providing appropriate skill development opportunities for youth in Ontario.”

The program offers step-by-step instructions and curriculum along with turn-key operations guide and coaching manuals and a proven method of operation.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to partner with the City of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation to offer the Steve Nash Youth Basketball program to youth across the city," said Michele O’Keefe, Executive Director of Canada Basketball. "Through this program, it is our hope to grow the game by increasing the participation base at the grassroots level while ensuring we invest and develop quality coaches through training and structured program support.”

Participants receive certified coaching by National Coaching Certificate Program (NCCP) trained coaches. The NCCP program is delivered by the government of Canada, provincial/territorial governments and national, provincial and territorial sports organizations. The young participants also receive a Steve Nash Youth Basketball reversible jersey, basketball, certificate of participation, parents guide, Canada Basketball national membership and Ontario Basketball membership.

Coaches receive the Steve Nash Youth Basketball Coaching CD manual with sample drills, teaching tips, modified rules and checklist, lesson plans and an introductory guide to athlete development and growth, as well as Canada Basketball and Ontario Basketball memberships.

Parks, Forestry and Recreation intends to pilot the program at L'Amoreaux Community Recreation Centre, North Kipling Community Centre, Wellesley Community Centre, Driftwood Community Centre and as part of a basketball program for girls at Lawrence Heights Community Centre.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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