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Town raises the flag for National Youth Week

As part of National Youth Week the BWG Leisure Centre will be running programming and events from May 1 to 7

With National Youth Week set for May 1 to 7, Bradford West Gwillimbury Mayor Rob Keffer and members of council were in attendance at the BWG Leisure Centre on Friday afternoon to kickoff festivities with a flag raising.

“What a great place to raise the National Youth Week flag,” said Keffer. “Everybody who passes by this area will realize we’re celebrating the youth of our community and the future of our community, and the future of our country. Recreation benefits individuals, families, neighbourhoods, and communities. There’s an increasing interest in international youth development through recreation in Canada, founded on a substantial and growing body of research to support the role of recreation and the positive development of youth.”

National Youth Week is dedicated to the celebration of youth and their active participation in their community. Through activities and opportunity for involvement, youth across the country are celebrated during the first week of May.

“Canadian youth are not often recognized for the valuable contributions to our communities as well as Canada’s social, economic, and civil landscape,” said Keffer. “Meaningful youth engagement through recreation emphasizes access, equity, and social justice, and leads to positive youth development. National Youth Week reminds us of all the valuable contributions that recreation and parks can make to youth development and that youth can make to community development.”

Coun. Jonathan Scott, who is active in promoting youth engagement in the community, spoke on the importance of community leaders and youth leaders working together.

“As the most recently a youth member of council, the mayor asked me to say a few words! National Youth Week is an important opportunity for us to focus on what we do as a town to serve our younger demographic,” said Scott. “To the youth, speak up and tell us what you want, and get involved. It’s a cliche to say you’re leaders of tomorrow, and you actually are leaders today. It’s true and I hope you’ll earn it. Your voice really matters because that teenage demographic is always a forgotten group, but if you speak up and say what you feel you need, councils listen, and people want to hear from you. It’s an important opportunity for you to be leaders right now. This is a great week to celebrate our youth in town and hopefully continue to grow towards an even more youth friendly community.”

With the older Community Centre in Scott’s ward (Ward 2), he talked about the adapting and growing to fit the needs of youth in the community.

““Here in Bradford, we’re working towards a youth friendly designation for our leisure services and other programming,” said Scott. “We’re working with our high schools, our library, and everyone else who serves youth. We have a lot we still want to achieve for young people. When I went to that school (Bradford District High School), this wasn’t here (BWG Leisure Centre), this was a field,” said Scott. “Having this facility for young people is hopefully the start of many more things to come and we want to continue to grow library programming.”

Every day from May 1 to 7, the BWG Leisure Centre will be offering programming and events for Youth Week:

  • Sunday, May 1: leisure swim, youth drop-in basketball, youth resource table.
  • Monday, May 2: kickoff party, youth drop-in basketball, youth resource table, children drop-in basketball.
  • Tuesday, May 3: 3 vs. 3 basketball tournament, leisure swim, youth resource table.
  • Wednesday, May 4: virtual Disney escape room, youth drop-in basketball, youth resource table.
  • Thursday, May 5: youth drop-in basketball, children drop-in basketball, youth toonie skate, leisure swim, youth resource table.
  • Friday, May 6: youth tactical Nerf challenge, kids tactical Nerf challenge, youth resource table, leisure swim.
  • Saturday, May 7: leisure swim, youth resource table.