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Montreal community raises funds for youth sports

The Montreal Commmunity Cares Foundation supports youths through sports, mentorship, and academics. Matilda Cerone / Global News

Montrealers spent an afternoon playing anything from basketball to pickleball to emphasize the importance of youth sports.

Every year, the Montreal Community Cares Foundation (MCCF) hosts a day of play and a walkathon to raise funds for its services.

“We believe in putting kids on a pathway to success through sports and academics,” explained Denburk Reid, MCCF founder and president.

The money goes towards renting gyms, buying new uniforms, paying coaches, and allowing youths to participate in tournaments. This year, the money is particularly needed.

“The cost of everything has risen,” said Reid. “We are trying to do our best to help kids and families get into the game.”

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Reid and other staff members think kids need these opportunities more than ever after the pandemic. Increased screen time is leading youths to a more sedentary lifestyle and exposure to cyberbullying.

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Kris Joseph, a coach at the MCCF’s Red Rush basketball program, says staying on the court helped him tremendously when he was growing up.

“Basketball kept me and my friends out of trouble,” he said. “It gave us somewhere to go, it gave us a place to grow as young men.”

Deandra Nelson has been playing basketball with Red Rush for two years.

“I felt at home with Red Rush, and it has helped me build my confidence and skills,” she told Global News.

Her mother, Lori Jackman, says, “It has opened her up to a whole bunch of things that she would not have seen. Deandra has a sense of pride.”

Montreal Alouettes defense lineman Mustafa Johnson was present to play as well. “It takes a village to raise a kid, not just a single household,” he said, adding that at MCCF, “everyone is here to help, to bring direction, to help guide kids on a smart path.

The MCCF is aiming to raise $100,000 by the end of June.

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