Elementary school is a place where many young girls struggle with their “body image.” Imagine their surprise when Alisha Tatham – a member of the 2012 Canadian Women’s Basketball Team - walks in and shares that she too was shy and reserved in school, and struggled with her own “body issues.”
Alisha Tatham credits her involvement in organized sport as one of the turning points in her personal success story. “I was very shy and reserved in elementary school,” says Alisha. “I didn’t talk much and I was always concerned about my appearance. To make matters worse, in grade 8 I went to a new school and both my brother and sister had moved on to high school, so for the first time I had no sibling with me at school,” remembers Alisha.
She didn’t get involved in organized sport until grade 7. “I first joined the school track & field team. That led to me to play for the school basketball team, which led me to high school and varsity basketball and eventually the Canadian Olympic Team.” Alisha is grateful for the opportunities she has been afforded due to her participation in sport.
Alisha takes her responsibility as a positive role model for youth, especially for young girls, very seriously. “I am creating a Teenage Girls Summer Basketball Clinic in Scarborough this summer. The clinics are to focus on both basketball and life skills/challenges that girls are facing,” says Alisha.
As an ESTEEM Team Athlete Role Model and volunteer in her community, Alisha is thankful for the opportunity to talk to youth about overcoming obstacles and reaching for the dreams.
“I remember a grade 11 student that came up to me after a presentation in Toronto and said he had been working hard on his goal of becoming a pro-baseball player. He had the potential and the drive, but he mentioned to me that due to some personal issues at home he was ready to quit,” says Alisha. “He told me that my story gave him the inspiration he needed to work through it and he realized that his challenges were not unique. He wasn’t going to let them stop him.”
Like the inspiration she shares with elementary students through the ESTEEM Team presentations, Alisha believes in the power of sport, and the importance of giving back. “I look back now and realize that sports led me to meet new people and make new friends,” says Alisha. “ I think this is why I think I was always more inclined to participate in team sports like the 4 x 100 relay track team and of course basketball.”
Alisha, we are delighted to have you aboard as one of our newest ESTEEM Team members. Thank you for sharing your personal story with us, and with Canada’s youth.
Ways that you can be part of the youth-driven development movement in Canada:
• Help a young person like Alisha share the power of sport by making a donation to Motivate Canada
• Subscribe to our Motivate Canada e-newsletter
• Hire an ESTEEM Team Athlete for your school or community
Respect, bravery, honesty, truth, love, humility and wisdom. “These are the 7 teachings are what kept me focused on my journey through life which was sometimes difficult because of the choices I made, says Jordan Miller, GEN7 messenger. “ I have had to learn how to accept situations, whether good or bad, because there is always a lesson for me to learn about myself or others in there.”
Jordan Miller is one of Motivate Canada’s 23 GEN7 messengers. As part of the aboriginal role model program, Jordan partners with Dalles, a First Nation near Kenora to deliver sport and leadership activities to the young people. He is proud of the strong and lasting relationships he has developed with the community.
Jordan’s Mohawk name - Teshakotennyon’s – literally means to change things. And he takes his Mohawk name very seriously. This month, Jordan was named by CityNEWS Toronto as their Athlete of the Week. The video celebrates Jordan’s involvement with KidSport Ontario and their Aboriginal FunZone Project camps.
How does Jordan relate to the youth that he works with in aboriginal communities? He credits his “street smarts” with helping him to establish connections with youth who are struggling. His vision is to create a “youth leadership development program” designed for Aboriginal youth that would incorporate the visual and performing arts, music, sports and traditional culture.
Jordan Anthony Miller is Bear Clan belonging to the Mohawk (People of the Flint) Nation of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory near Brantford, Ontario. He is a proud Motivate Canada Youth Ambassador and a GEN7 messenger.
Jordan is just one of countless youth all across Canada who are working together to REALize the potential of other YOUth in their communities. Our communities
Ways that you can be part of the youth-driven development movement in Canada:
• Make a donation to Motivate Canada
• Watch Jordan in action on CityNEWS Toronto as Athlete of the Week
• Find out more about GEN7 communities in your neighborhood
The enthusiasm in her voice is completely infectious. Sarah Spruin can’t wait to attend the ACTIVATE national youth forum in May!
“I really wasn’t expecting to get chosen,” says Sarah. “Danielle Cyr is team captain for my soccer team, and she was the one that suggested that I apply.” When Sarah found out she was going to the ACTIVATE conference in Ottawa from May 8-11th she was really excited, and just a little bit nervous. “[The delegates] seem great – there’s a facebook group that’s been set up and they have all been talking on there, “says Sarah. “Everybody – almost everybody - has typed a paragraph or two. It’s nice to have that before you go and meet them in Ottawa.”
Setting up an ACTIVATE facebook page for the delegates is just one of the many ways that the ACTIVATE volunteer team works behind the scenes to get to know the delegates, and make them feel more comfortable about getting on a plane, leaving friends and family behind, and taking a big giant leap towards their future as an ACTIVATOR, and a Motivate Canada Youth Ambassador. The four day conference in Ottawa is completely youth-driven: the volunteer team selects the delegates, designs the format of the forum, and leads the majority of the workshops that the young people attend. The 10-person volunteer team is supported by Motivate Canada through Zach Hayes, program manager for the ACTIVATE program.,
ACTIVATE is only 6 days away. “I can’t wait to meet the new friends I know I am going to have after the conference. I am keen to learn new skills, especially my approach to leadership,” says Sarah. And she is already looking ahead to life after ACTIVATE! Sarah already has some ideas percolating about her Activate in Action project. She has been talking to some of the athletic directors at her school, and is considering starting a SMILE program inspired by the SMILE program at Acadia University. The program works with children and youth with any physical, mental or cognitive disabilities to develop fundamental motor skills.
At just 20 years old, this University student majoring in Mathematics is already giving back to her community in so many ways. ACTIVATE will give her the chance to improve on her expanding skill set of leadership skills and other competencies so that she can go out in the world and be the change that she sees is possible.
Sarah wholeheartedly believes in the power of young people. “I think we have spunky attitudes,” says Sarah. “We have our whole lives ahead of us to do something great. We just want to do it now!”
Sarah, we’ll be cheering for you, and all the other 50 youth delegates from across Canada who are attending ACTIVATE. Thank you for making a difference in your community. Our communities.
Ways that you can be part of the youth driven development movement in Canada:
• Make a Donation to Motivate Canada
• Subscribe to our Motivate Canada e-newsletter
• Find out more about ACTIVATE
By ACTIVATOR Danielle Cyr
ACTIVATORS are proud to announce the launch of the Now We Need You ACTIVATE 2013 fundraising campaign! As ACTIVATORS, we know every youth in Canada should have the opportunity to attend ACTIVATE. However, as a not-for-profit organization, the program is facing challenges to secure funding. Firmly believing that ACTIVATE continues to change the lives of youth across Canada, we are launching the first ever, ACTIVATE fundraising campaign. The campaign starts November 1st and will take shape through collecting pledges using personal online fundraising pages created by ACTIVATE Alumni.
Why am I getting involved?
Because ACTIVATE has given me the courage to be the person I want to be, the confidence to make positive change in my community and a network of encouraging, passionate and supportive ACTIVATORS to help me accomplish both. This November I, along with other ACTIVATORS, will raise funds in support of ACTIVATE 2013. Through this campaign we are hoping to raise a combined total of over $20,000 to go towards the ACTIVATE 2013 national forum.
Why is this campaign so important?
Because every young person in Canada should have the chance to go to ACTIVATE
Because every young person is unique and holds within themselves the chance be the change they want to be
Because there has never been a more important time for young people to discover the ACTIVATE youth forum, the first step in youth-driven development (YDD)
Because ACTIVATE unleashes Canada’s greatest untapped resource – young people.
Because every young person in Canada has a unique voice that needs to be heard
Because ACTIVATE can be life changing
EVERY SINGLE DOLLAR raised through the ACTIVATE 2013 campaign will go directly towards off-setting the costs of hosting a national forum; flight tickets for youth delegates from all across Canada, accommodations for 50 youth, rental fees, hiring speakers for the event and more. With your support, more youth will be able to experience what I and so many other youth have experienced. ACTIVATE positively changed my life and gave me the confidence to make a difference. Your support will create more ACTIVATORS – young people dedicated to making the world a better, healthier place to live, one community at a time.
ACTIVATORS can sign-up to take part in this initiative today - click here!
Check out our campaign home page here.
On behalf of all the ACTIVATORS across Canada, I thank you in advance for your support and for spreading the word.
Danielle Cyr (Pictou, NS) - ACTIVATE 2013 Senior Volunteer Leader
About ACTIVATE: For over eight years, ACTIVATE has given youth the opportunity to travel across Canada, meet other individuals that are passionate about sport and learn about how youth can positively impact themselves and their communities through active recreation and physical activity. ACTIVATE provides youth with the resources and network to develop themselves and their community through sport. www.motivatecanada.ca/en/activate
Here’s a little closure for some of my Estonian Blogs:
“I have just returned from Saskatoon at the 2011 National Aboriginal Hockey Championships. My role was as the Off-Ice Coordinator with Team Ontario.
First off, I have to give credit to the young men. I’ve never seen a group play so hard, so smart and with so much courage. For 12 skaters and 3 goalies, to play 4 full 60 minute games in the first 2 days is unheard of!
Furthermore, they played 7 full games in 5 days! After losing to Team Manitoba in the round robin, the young men fought back from down 3-2 to win
6-3 in the bronze medal game!
Just to share with you all, my time in Estonia was so precious and life-changing. I was ultimately ruled ineligible to play in the World Hockey Championship, but was told from the national team to play some games in the Estonian Pro League this season and come back in 2012. Sadly, the team was relegated in the games in Ukraine, but the climb to Division 1 begins again! I had so much fun in Estonia from the capital of Tallinn where my mother was born to Tartu where the training camp was held. I met cousins and aunts and uncles for the first time, all with open arms. I was away for 3 weeks last month, I’m very tired, but I’d do it all over again.
I feel so fortunate to be a role model, an athlete, a friend to all and a thankful son to two very loving parents.”
—By Emily Rowell
2009, 2010, 2011 … three years of my life that I was very fortunate to be part of ACTIVATE Youth Leadership Conference. This forum has changed my life. This is NOT an exaggeration. It’s just the truth.
There will be some among you that surely will say, I am sure that some of you will say, that a week-long forum that I’ve attended it three years in a row, cannot change a person’s life. To you I say—you’re sceptical and you have never experienced ACTIVATE. By now, you’ve missed the deadline for registering for the 2011 ACTIVATE Forum, but I encourage you to try again next year, and now I will tell you my story.
2009: I was a girl who felt all alone in the world with my dreams. BAM! Enter ACTIVATE like a knight in shining armour. I attended the forum as a delegate, 5 days later and I would never again be that girl lost in world. I went home with a fervent desire to effect a change in my community. My project activate my community was to be a rugby coach for the eighth graders at my school. In light of the skills I learned at ACTIVATE, I was still able to stay involved in the rugby world, despite being injured and unable to play at provincials for my own rugby team.
Yet ACTIVATE 2009 was not the end of my involvement. I joined Motivate Canada’s Communications team and it has helped me to keep in touch with the wonderful staff at Motivate Canada’s headquarters in Ottawa.
2010: I was delighted to be chosen to be part of the team of volunteers to organize the ACTIVATE 2010 Leadership Forum. I learned a lot during the months of work: I called strangers all across the country and I searched all delegates on Facebook (not easy for me I swear), there was lots of work to do but our team worked well together and the results were great. To see all of your hard work realized is truly unforgettable. For me, the joy of the ACTIVATE Forum 2010 was the best gift after all the months of hard work. I always stay in touch with my other ACTIVATORS and enlarge my network of friends. Now I have a person with whom I could stay in touch with each province and territory, that’s a success!
ACTIVATE 2010—still, I wanted to return. Fortunately MC decided to create a new position: chief of the volunteer team. The needed someone who had experience with the forum and could help ACTIVATE again and give expertise to new volunteers.
2011: You may be asking yourselves is this girl ever tired of ACTIVATE? No, I’m not, and I’m not finished yet. This year I am one of two leaders of the volunteer team. We are currently organizing the forum at the same time. We send emails, we support each other and we are working hard to create a great experience for 2011 delegates. If you’re one of those delegates and you’re reading this, I congratulate you and I really look forward to meeting you in May. If you are not a delegate, I ask this question: do you want to change the world or do you expect that someone does it for you? Even if you are not a delegate in 2011 myself and other volunteers are delighted to hear from you. You can reach us at email@example.com and you can follow our blog for encouragement http://activatevolunteers.blogspot.com/weeklies. Go ahead! Woohoo!
2009, 2010, 2011…trois années de ma vie où j’ai eu la grande chance de pouvoir participer à ACTIVEZ. Ce forum m’a changé la vie. Ce n’est PAS une exagération. C’est simplement la vérité.
Il y en a entre vous sûrement qui diront qu’un forum d’une semaine, même si je l’ai vécue trois fois, ne peut pas changer la vie d’une personne. Vous, vous êtes des sceptiques et vous n’avez jamais vécu ACTIVEZ. Vous avez manqué la date limite pour l’inscription au forum 2011, mais je vous encourage d’essayer l’année prochaine, et maintenant j’aimerais vous raconter mon histoire.
2009 : une petite qui ne se sentait toute seule dans le monde avec ses rêves. BAM! Entre ACTIVEZ comme un chevalier en armure brillant. J’ai participé au forum comme délégué, 5 jours et je ne serais jamais la petite perdue dans la grandeur du monde encore. Je suis rentré chez moi avec un désir fervent d’effectuer un changement dans ma communauté. Mon projet pour activez mon communauté était d’être entraineur pour l’équipe de rugby des huitièmes années à mon école. À cause du fait qu’ACTIVEZ m’avez équipé pour pouvoir effectuer un tel projet quand je me suis blessée aux provinciales de la lutte et je ne pouvais pas jouer pour mon propre équipe de rugby, j’avais quand même un moyen d’être impliquer dans le monde de rugby.
ACTIVEZ 2009 n’était pas la fin pour moi évidemment. Je suis devenue membre de l’équipe de communication de Motivate Canada (MC) et cela me permet de me garder en contact avec le personnel merveilleux au bureau central en Ottawa.
2010 : J’étais ravie d’être choisie de faire partie de l’équipe des bénévoles pour organiser le forum d’ACTIVEZ 2010. J’ai beaucoup appris pendant les mois de travail : j’ai téléphoné des inconnus à travers le pays et j’ai cherché tous les délégués sur Facebook (pas facile pour moi je vous jure), il y avait tant de travail à faire mais notre équipe a travaillé bien ensemble et le résultat était formidable. Voir réaliser votre travail c’est vraiment inoubliable. Pour moi, la joie des ACTIVATEURs du forum 2010 c’était le meilleur cadeau après toutes les mois. Je reste toujours en contact avec mes coqueluches et mon réseau d’amis agrandissent. J’ai une personne avec laquelle je pourrais rester en chaque province et chaque territoire, ça c’est une véritable réussite!
ACTIVEZ 2010-encore, je voulais retourner. Heureusement MC a décidé de créer une nouvelle position : le chef de l’équipe des bénévoles. Quelqu’un qui avait déjà organiser un forum d’ACTIVEZ qui aiderait encore une fois et donnerait de l’expertise aux nouveaux bénévoles.
2011 : Vous vous demandez : cette fille-elle ne fatigue jamais ou quoi? Non, je n’ai pas encore fini avec ACTIVEZ. Cette année je suis un des deux chefs de l’équipe des bénévoles. On est en train d’organiser le forum en ce moment-même. On s’envoie des courriels, on se soutient et on se téléphone pour pouvoir créer une expérience formidable pour les délégués de 2011. Si vous êtes un de ces délégués et vous êtes en train de lire ceci, je vous félicite et j’ai vraiment hâte de vous rencontrer en mai. Si vous n’êtes pas un délégué, je vous pose cette question : voulez-vous changer le monde ou attendre à ce que quelqu’un le fait pour vous? Même si vous n’êtes pas un délégué de 2011, moi et les autres bénévoles seront ravies d’entendre de vos nouvelles. Vous pouvez nous atteindre à firstname.lastname@example.org et vous pouvez suivre notre blogue http://activatevolunteers.blogspot.com/ pour les encouragements hebdos. Allez-y! Woohoo!
— Emily Rowell
Ojibway-Estonian Michael Mahkwa Auksi is a Hockey player and GEN7 Messenger with Motivate Canada. Currently, he’s practicing to qualify for Team Estonia.
April 9, 2011
I want to chat a bit about my time thus far in Estonia…my teammates are unbelievably cool…it’s not easy to work a 9th defenseman into drills, especially when he has his eyes on your spot. Same goes for the management & coaches. Everyone has been super to me! Haven’t seen many sights outside of the airport in Tallinn, the rink in Tartu, my hotel and the gym. The hotel has good food…lots of pasta, chicken, tomato and beef soup, nice Estonian bread and a variety of deserts…no matter what happens in the next week, I am having the time of my life and I love myself for having the guts to follow my dreams…miss you all:)
April 10, 2011
Estonia: Day 5
Well…just got off the ice…its very frustrating being at the bottom of the depth chart most likely due to eligibility question marks…I guess I’m used to being the underdog in hockey, so I’m well equipped to do my job and find a way…two ice sessions tomorrow….and game Tues…going to be huge…thank goodness tonight wasn’t another 10pm practice…but I’m glad the figure skating competition was fun for the past two nights:)
I flew Tuesday, so I’ll just call today Day 5…training camp is tiring…but should I be cleared for the tournament, that will be 10X more tiring! Five explosive games in 6 days/nights…dinner soon…and an early night…gonna need it…so tired…but having so much fun…miss everyone still :P