Community Action Report: We Are Free to Play

01

Ensure that neighbourhoods across our communities have access to recreational facilities and spaces (e.g. community centres, splash pads, skate parks, community pools, basketball and tennis courts). Connect with youth to determine what activities they want available in these spaces, and that the variety and timing of those activities align with youth needs/wants.

A splash pad at my school, or in my neighbourhood. Also, a community centre close by, or in the church in our neighbourhood.
– YIS

 

More areas to rollerblade, more skatepark
– Sense making sessions

 

More community pools
– YIS

 

More variety of activities (yoga, self defence classes, etc.)
– YIS

 

Open up the community recreation areas, i.e. basketball courts, tennis courts, etc. It will help connect people socially. Maybe make it so that people who do not belong to the community center not allowed in? What I mean by this is that a lot of people who did not belong to [my neighbourhood] area would come and use the basketball and tennis courts, causing it to close. Now I, who belongs, can not use it myself.
– YIS

 

If there is something missing in a community, for example, recreation areas or more affordable sports, they should get /build them.
– Feedback Survey

 

Skate park nearby (Kitchener)
– YIS

 

Make an outdoor dodgeball court.
– YIS

 

I feel like the parks should be more fun and have more recreational activities, such as tennis courts, basketball courts, etc.
– YIS

 

More outdoor activities like soccer nets or basketball hoops to get people outside more
– YIS

 

There needs to be a lot more recreation than there is right now and it should be accessible for people. It is important that organizing recreational activities and events should be easier too.
– YIS

 

Having more organised activities for young people.
– YIS

Organization: Township of Wilmot 

 

There are 20+ parks and green spaces throughout the township of Wilmot located in neighbourhoods and 7 community centres. Find out more on their website by clicking Facilities, Parks and Trails. 

 

Learn more about the Township of Wilmot here

02

Update community parks to include additional recreation spaces like:
  • Skate parks
  • Community pools
  • Outdoor dodgeball courts
  • Tennis courts
  • Basketball courts
  • Splash pads
  • Soccer nets

More areas to rollerblade, more skatepark
– Sense making sessions

 

More community pools
– YIS

 

Skate park nearby (kitchener)
– YIS

 

Make an outdoor dodgeball court.
– YIS

 

I feel like the parks should be more fun and have more recreational activities, such as tennis courts, basketball courts, etc.
– YIS

 

More outdoor activities like soccer nets or basketball hoops to get people outside more
YIS

Organization: Township of Wilmot 

 

Township of Wilmot has multi use recreation pads at community centres and a splash pad at Wilmot Recreation Complex

 

Learn more about the Township of Wilmot here



Organization: Waterloo Region Community Foundation 

 

Waterloo Region Community Foundation provides grants to organizations in the Waterloo Region for youth focused recreational spaces and activities. 

 

Learn more about Waterloo Region Community Foundation here

03

Create pop-up equipment borrowing in community parks where youth can access things like basketballs, soccer balls, baseballs and bats, etc. Sometimes, youth will come together in park spaces but not have the equipment on-hand for pick up games.

We need access to sports equipment when out in public parks to encourage pick-up games (when youth don’t bring equipment)
– Sense making sessions

 

Organization: Idea Exchange 

 

With an Idea Exchange membership card you can lend out sports and recreation  equipment such as basketballs, baseball sets and frisbees for free. 

 

Learn more about Idea Exchange here!



Organization: Adventure4Change 

 

Adenture4Change offers weekly basketball coaching at community locations to teach boys (Wednesdays) and girls (Tuesdays) to play basketball after-school. Equipment and coaches are provided.

 

Learn more about Adventures for Change here



Organization: Waterloo Public Library

 

With a Waterloo Public Library card you can borrow a variety of items for free. For example, basketballs, board games, and puzzles. 

 

Learn more about the Waterloo Public Library here!



Organization: City of Waterloo

 

The neighbourhoods team at the City of Waterloo has equipment for neighbours to borrow for community events and activities. Equipment includes pop-up tents, first aid kits, large lawn games, and more. 

 

Learn more about the City of Waterloo here!

04

Update community infrastructure so that stores, parks and sidewalks are all wheelchair accessible. Fix up older community centres and recreational facilities.

Have more wheelchair accessible stores, sidewalks and parks
– YIS

 

Fix up recreational buildings, perhaps offer volunteer hours there as well as some free or cheap programs for youth and teens.
– Feedback Survey

 

Organization: Waterloo Region Family Network 

 

Organizations and places interested in making their spaces more accessible can reach out to the Waterloo Region Family Network for advice and information.

 

Learn more about Waterloo Region Family Network here

05

Provide more high-quality, financially accessible recreational opportunities

Make sports more financially accessible (cost less)
– Sense making session

 

Sports are expensive. The sports at the community centre are cheap but they are not very professional and the leaders don’t have any skills
– YIS

 

Organization: Idea Exchange 

 

Idea Exchange offers free registered and drop-in programming for children and youth. Learn more about the different types of programs offered under program and events!

 

Learn more about Idea Exchange here



Organization: Kitchener Public Library 

 

KPL offers a free, drop-in program for youth called (You)th Hub on Monday to Thursdays (2:30-4:30pm) where youth can come play VR, video games, board games, study and more!

 

Learn more about Kitchener Public Library here



Organization: Extend-A-Family 

 

Extend-A-Family offers respite programs for youth and youth and teen programs focused on recreational activities and skill building opportunities. Summer program is available for youth 13+, subsidies for camp are offered. 

 

Learn more about Extend-A-Family here

 

Organization: City of Kitchener 

 

City of Kitchener youth drop-in programs at various community centres in the region for free and registered programs (ex. art and coaching) at low or zero cost. 

 

Learn more about the City of Kitchener here!

06

Have a centralised space (or spaces) where youth can learn about extracurriculars and ways to get involved in the community, highlighting which opportunities provide volunteer hours.

More info about available extracurriculars and how to get involved
– Sense Making session

 

 

Organization: Adventure4Change 

 

Young Queens Collective provides a space for racialized female youth to come together to connect and share their unique experiences and learn about how to volunteer in the community. 

 

Learn more about Adventures 4 Change here



Organization: Waterloo Region Family Network 

Waterloo Region Family Network connects youth to various organisations, extracurricular opportunities, volunteer opportunities in the community. 

 

 

Learn more about Waterloo Region Family Network here



Organization: Children and Youth Planning Table

 

CYPT Youth Portal website where youth can stay updated and find volunteer opportunities within CYPT or community organizations. 

 

Learn more about it here



Organization: Volunteer Waterloo Region

 

Volunteer Waterloo Region has a youth volunteer board where youth can learn about open virtual and in-person volunteer opportunities. They’ve also got programs and groups where youth can earn volunteer hours while learning about, and contributing to, organizations across the community. 

 

Learn more about Volunteer Waterloo Region here!

07

Offer opportunities to get volunteer hours at local community centres.

Fix up recreational buildings, perhaps offer volunteer hours there as well as some free or cheap programs for youth and teens.
-Feedback Survey

 

Organization: Idea Exchange 

 

Idea Exchange has launched teen volunteer program again. 





Organization: Township of Wilmot 

 

Wilmot’s Youth Action Council (Y.A.C.) is a group of local youth volunteers (ages 14- 19) who offer youth a chance to be involved in the community, to create and support the youth voice. You can also volunteer with the Y.A.C as a Youth Ally or during summer program in the Youth Volunteer Leadership Program!

 

Learn more about the Township of Wilmot here!

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