Making Wakeboarding Accessible to All Youth

Organization Sponsor: Brockville Sports Wakeboard Club

URLs: 

Program Description

Brockville Sports operates a free wakeboarding program on the St. Lawrence River for all youth, particularly those from low-income families living in Downtown Brockville, from June to September. From this project Brockville Sports Wakeboard Club was formed.

Program Approximate Cost: 

$30,000

Funding Sources: 

$4,000 - live auction
$ 7,000 - federal government
$19,000 - sponsorship/donations

Strategies For Sustainability: 

Fundraising - Corporate sponsorship and sponsorship of youth at $300 per by citizens of Brockville. The 12-person Youth Management Team also has 3 major fundraising events each year - 1) car wash in June 2)12-hour wakeboarding relay along the St. Lawrence River from Cornwall to Kingston in August and 3) a live auction in December

Impact Of Program: 

50% of the youth in the program are from low income families living in Downtown Brockville. Youth involved in the program are not getting into trouble with the police (anymore). Many of the 82 youth in the program had never been on the St. Lawrence River (not even in a boat) because they were told by their parents/legal guardians that the river was a playground for the rich only

Evaluation Tools: 

Fundraising targets achieved by Youth Management Team
Fewer documented interactions with the Brockville Police among members of the youth wakeboarding program

Key Elements Towards Success: 

Youth empowerment - the Youth Management Team is guided by the principles of Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) from John McKnight at Northwestern University in Chicago. They have developed feeling of ownership and are managing almost every aspect of the wakeboarding program, including fundraising.

Challenges To Meet Them: 

Fundraising is an ongoing challenge. The St. Lawrence River is the greatest asset in Brockville. City councillors, citizens and local companies are becoming more aware of the benefits of engaging youth, particularly those from low income families living in Downtown Brockville, in the free wakeboarding program. The Youth Management Team are having success fundraising on their own - with adult guidance but little intervention

Length and Stage of Project: 

The free youth wakeboarding program started in 2008. The 2009 program will operate from June to September.

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