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Our Mission!

Empowering youth with the confidence and life skills to  become community leaders of tomorrow.

At Lay-Up, we focus on the empowerment of children and youth in Toronto’s priority neighbourhoods through our programming which promotes and supports physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

What we believe in!

The true power of sport lies in its ability to draw the interest of youth.

Sport is a great way to promote confidence, social development, and healthy lifestyles. By using sports as a platform, we are able to engage youth, and provide off the court education which can benefit them in their everyday lives. This is done through our comprehensive social curriculum which develops participants as leaders by addressing four developmental pillars:   

Our Core Pillars Focus On:
Absolute Access                
Programs are completely free and open to kids of all backgrounds, genders and skill levels. We specialize in working with kids that want to play basketball – not elite or performance-based ‘basketball players.’ We also designed a program exclusively for girls in their transition years to a teenager, with an environment that encourages female empowerment.
Equal Opportunity
We offer an experience on par or even superior to paid programming. Our basketball curriculum uses the Long Term Athlete Development, employs NCCP trained coaches, and features a 7:1 camper to coach ratio. We also provide every camper with a jersey, water bottle, lunch, snacks, prizes, and awards. Ultimately, a child’s socioeconomic status should not be a barrier to high-quality leadership and basketball training.

Community Involvement 
 We integrate our program within our communities, spending weeks meeting with stakeholders before every program to understand that community’s needs and barriers. We hire and train local teens, many of whom are former program participants, as coaches and provide broader career support as well. We also bring in local guest speakers like guidance counsellors, police officers, and social workers. When stepping into a Lay-Up program, it will always feel like a locally led.

Off Court Development
Lay-Up has a comprehensive off court curriculum where participants spend 2 hours each day working on personal development. We focus on academics, life skills, career, healthy living, and community. We bring in guest speakers and partners with proven expertise and impact models.