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We exist to harness the power of the sport and culture of basketball to develop the skills and confidence children and youth need to navigate their future.

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All children and youth in Toronto have the opportunity to be equipped for success through a fun, inclusive, high-quality approach to basketball. 

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Our programs are for children and youth (6-14) living in Toronto’s Neighbourhood Improvement Areas, as well as communities included in Toronto’s former Priority Neighbourhood designation.

 

We take a place-based approach to outreach, and we work closely with local schools, community centres and community organizations in our application process.

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Lay-Up brings the entire culture of basketball into our programming. The game of basketball is the foundation, but the culture of basketball is intertwined with fashion, art, music, film, photography, social justice, technology and entrepreneurship.

 

While children and youth come to Lay-Up because they love the game of basketball, they also come with passion and potential in all of these areas. The culture of basketball allows us to merge opportunities to develop new skills and discover hidden talents in a program that is always anchored by the game.

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Lay-Up is an evidence-based program that combines research and best-practices from four primary frameworks into our program design and outcomes: positive youth development, long-term athlete development, a place-based approach and future of work skills. Our programming is also informed by research on equity, inclusivity and  meaningful participation for girls in sport. 

“65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don’t yet exist.”

 

- World Economic Forum, The Future of Work Report

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Lay-Up is about fun, passion, respect and growth. The values that drive us are:

Equal Access

A cost-free, local, team-based basketball program open to children and youth (aged 6-14) of any skill level.

Skill Development

Developing transferrable skills such as teamwork, leadership, resilience, and creativity to prepare kids and coaches for a successful future.

High Quality

High quality program led by certified coaches with a 7:1 coach to participant ratio for more individualized training and attention.

Physical Activity

Developing physical literacy in kids through engaging skill-based games, drills, and scrimmages.

Beyond Basketball

An opportunity to experience new activities embedded in the culture of basketball.

Homegrown

Grounded in the communities we serve, we hire and train coaches from the very same communities our kids live in.
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Belonging 

Feeling you belong to a team and are supported and accepted by those around you.

Proud 

Feeling a sense of pride in being part of the Lay-Up community and in what you accomplish personally.

Purpose

Feeling you are discovering your strengths and passions to make a difference through what you love.

Empowered 

Feeling you can accomplish more and realizing your true potential grows each and every day.

Confidence

Feeling strong, energized, and more capable in your abilities on and off the court.

Understood

Feeling seen, heard, and understood by your coaches and can relate to them on a deeper level.
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At Lay-Up, we aim to create an environment where our team of coaches from communities across the GTA can bring the best practices from elite basketball development and from critical youth work to their support of participants both on and off the court.

 

We are committed to providing holistic and meaningful training, certification and exposure opportunities to support our Lay-Up coaches in their on-going growth and development.

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The love for the game of basketball is the foundation of Lay-Up because of the transformative power of the game, the team experience and the relationships we have with our coaches. 

 

We recognize that there are bigger issues in the world than the sport we love. 

 

At times, basketball is a vehicle to support your well-being and navigate the challenges you face in life. Other times, basketball has the power to bring communities together to face challenges collectively. 

 

At Lay-Up, we are committed to the impact that we can have in addressing the social challenges we are facing in our city and advancing values of equity and inclusion through our programming and our organization.

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