The Team Unbreakable Program in Toronto continues to gain momentum and finished strongly with a fantastic turnout to its 5K goal run at Coronation Park June 11.
In all, 15 schools participated in the TU program this year in Toronto, including Orde Public School which had 80 students come out for their weekly sessions. There were many highlights to the year, but for Nils Blondin, one of our Program Coordinators, Central Toronto Academy stands out for its full endorsement of the program. “Central Toronto added the Team Unbreakable program as part of its grade 9 curriculum and it was a wonderful experience working with them. About 70 students were involved and they regularly filled out their training logs to measure their mental health and fitness.”
Nils says that the Team Unbreakable program is starting to make a name for itself in the Toronto area, and he and fellow Program Coordinator John Knox are starting to get more and more inquiries about how schools can set up a program for the fall. “There has been such positive feedback from the teachers in the schools and everyone is committed to expanding the program for the next school semester.
“Nils and John have done a wonderful job of going out and developing relationships with schools and in the community at large. The support they have received from our various sponsors has been outstanding,” says Executive Director Carl Worrell. “Given the strong support we had received, the program is only going to grow exponentially from here,” he says.
In November, the Bold and Cold run in its first year in Toronto totaled about 100 participants. The June 11 culmination run doubled that number, as over 200 participants came out to complete the 5k run. Click here to watch a video of the event, produced by Stefan Randstrom (use the password “unbreakable.”)
The Unbreakable Toronto run was supported by many organizations that came out to volunteer or donate funds. Members of the George Brown’s child and youth counsellors program ran with the students. The Kiwanis Club members raised money for a Start/Finish arch which will be ready for next season. Mark Trenton was a volunteer race organizer who worked tirelessly alongside John and Nils. The Rotary west end club also volunteered at the run as well as members of the Longboat Running Club of Toronto. The Runner’s Academy deserves special recognition for leading the warm-up and their continued support throughout the year.
“We deepened our relationships with the students and teachers. Since a lot of the schools held their runs at different times during the day, it was possible for us to get out frequently to run with the kids.” Starting a Patron Program to help students who are not able to pay for the race registration was another highlight for us as we were able to fund 26 students.”
All of the schools participating in the program this spring are expected to have programs in the fall, and CameronHelps has commitments from enough schools to double the total number of programs in the fall. “We’re excited about the potential Team Unbreakable represents to provide real solutions for our underserved populations,” says Carl.