By Cynthia Kwakyewah & Joseph Boachie
On Sunday October 9, 2011, the youth in the Ghanaian community abandoned their dinner plans andÂ hit the road to Amansie Multicultural Centre to celebrate Connecting Paths Canadaâ€™s (CPC) Sport Awards andÂ Empowerment Conference. CPC, a non-for profit organization established in 2008 due to the poor social development of Ghanaian Canadian youth, organised the conference to bring to light the hidden athletic talented community members and esteem their contribution to fostering a greater sense of community belonging
During the event, awards were given to participants and volunteers of the CPC soccer and tutoring programs who demonstrated extraordinary commitment and efforts during the 2011 soccer season and the 2010 academic
year.Â Dignitaries and community leaders who participated with the presentation of the awards included the two keynote speakers Hon. Mawutor, Consular-General of Ghana and Mr. Errol Gibbs, an author and international motivational speaker.
The culmination of the empowerment conference began in 2008 when CPC facilitated the Ghanaian-Canadian soccer league as an avenue for the youth to be active during the summer.CPCâ€™s efforts were bolstered by two community building funders, True Sports Foundation and The Forzani Group. Following the successÂ of the soccer league, the young at heart couldnâ€™t be left out. Hence, CPC moved on and established aÂ youth summer camp in the summer of 2010. With the help of the two community building sponsors, TheÂ Forzani Group (owners of Sportcheck, Athletes World, and National Sports) and True Sports Foundation, CPC extended this camp to other geographical areas in 2011.
After learning about CPCâ€™s initiatives and challenges in expanding their programs, True Sports Foundation, contributed $10,000 to CPC. At the same time, Forzani Group, a sport merchandize company, providedÂ substantial soccer equipments with an estimated value of $5,000 to CPC soccer program. About 150 young community members benefited from the donation.
It was through these generous donations that CPC was able to operate a summer soccer camp for the youth residing in Brampton. The camp allowed the prolific soccer players within the community to pass on theirÂ knowledge of the game to the aspiring youth soccer players. Aside from serving as a play ground, the camp equally aided in the health promotion of the participants; as they receivedtheir required physical activity. Altogether, the weekly two hour camp served about 40 youth in the Etobicoke and Brampton area.
It would go amiss to say that since their origination, both the league and the camp have been running successfully every summer.Â Admittedly, the Sport Awards & Empowerment Conference symbolizes the high point of CPCâ€™s three years involvement in community building. Indeed, it was a spectacular event: from the elegant and dazzling dÃ©cor to the exquisite performance, the mind stimulating speeches and the mouth-watering food.
The awarding began by honouring the participants of the aforementioned youth with Joel Effah receiving the Youth Leadership Award for his demonstrated outstanding leadership abilities during the camp.
Connecting Paths Canada, not only provided athletic activities for the youth, but the association also implemented Ready-To-Learn (RTL), a free after school tutoring and homework club for the youth in Brampton. From January 2011 to the end of school year in June, three volunteer professionals, FrancisÂ Appiah, Jennifer Ashley, and Patrick Â duBoateng along with the executives of CPC dedicated their time to impart their academicÂ knowledge to the youth. These three individuals were presented with an Outstanding Service Award for their contribution to the empowerment of youth.
Starting in June 2011, four teams; Apostolic FC, Mckewon FC, Continuation FC, and Rising Stars battled for the top spot in the league. At the conclusion of the total 18 league games played, Apostolic FC emerged as the winner with 17 points edging out theÂ forever young Rising Stars. Apostolic FC was presented with the League Winners TrophyÂ with James Osei of Apostolic Church winning the League MVP Award.
The playoffs were not keen to the Apostolic FC who bowed out in the semi-finals to Mckeown FC by a score of 3-2. The Playoff finals saw the perennial contenders Mckeown FC lose to Rising Stars on penalties. After receiving the Playoff Champions Trophy, Nana Poku-Adusei received the Playoff MVP for his performances in the defense and also in the goal during the penalty shoot-out.
In the process of receiving their trophies, the League Champions â€œApostolic FCâ€ and Playoff Champions â€œRising Starsâ€ in particular stirred up turbulent noise from their fans to the befitting tune of the Fifa 2010 World Cup Anthem, â€œWaving Flagâ€ from Kanaan. Other individual winners during the night wereÂ Elder Felix Akosah Aseamah of Apostolic FC(Coach of the year), Bismark Oppong of Continuation FC(Goalie of the year), Cornelius Amekadu of Continuation FC (Defender of the year), George Dankoh of Mckweon FC (Midfielder of the year), and Kwame Boateng of Rising Stars ( Goal king).
The well attended conference was marked by exultation and great joy, with supporters shouting and cheering their award winners. Notable personalities like Ms. Afriyie from the Ghanaian Canadian Social WorkersÂ Association, Mr. de Devitiis who is the Executive Assistant to Toronto City Councillor Anthony Perruzza Ward 8 and Mr. Maxwell Asante, the Manager of Blackstars Football Club, also graced the event and
participated as award presenters.
In his final remarks, Franklin Taylor, the President of CPC stressed the need for community members to volunteer their services and time to CPCâ€™s programs, notably, the Ready-To-Learn Tutoring program. ThisÂ program resumed again on September 20, 2011 in Brampton and will run until the end of the 2011/2012 academic year in June. Interested volunteer tutors can contact Joseph Boachie, the Program Coordinator at (647) 409-9306 or email@example.com for more information.
The well attended conference was marked by exultation and great joy, with supporters shouting and cheering their award winners. Notable personalities like Ms. Afriyie from the Ghanaian Canadian Social WorkersÂ Association, Mr. de Devitiis who is the Executive Assistant to Toronto City Councillor Anthony Perruzza Ward 8 and Mr. Maxwell Asante, the Manager of Blackstars Football Club, also graced the event andÂ participated as award presenters. In his final remarks, Franklin Taylor, the President of CPC stressed the need for community members to volunteer their services and time to CPCâ€™s programs, notably, the Ready-To-Learn Tutoring program. This program resumed again on SeptemberÂ 20, 2011 in Brampton and will run until the end of the 2011/2012 academic year in June.
Interested volunteer tutors can contact Joseph Boachie, the Program Coordinator at (647)
409-9306 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.