New board member welcomed

At our board meeting of Jan.23 we were pleased to welcome new member, Salvador Altamirano, long time co-worker of “green” Toronto architect David Fujiwara. red Panamericana Toronto encourages board applications from all committed to a better city by building Toronto’s social economy through sport.

Meeting with Nutmeg Soccer opens up new opportunities

At a lunch meeting on Monday April 10 Red Panamericana Board members met with youth soccer programme Nutmeg Soccer‘s Javier Diaz and came away with an in-principle agreement to collaborate on events and programming starting in summer, 2017. Nutmeg provides non-profit coaching and mentorship for youngsters in Toronto neighbourhoods and is a very good fit with our own focus on soccer as an agent of personal and community development, health and wellness in under-served areas of the City.

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Red Panamericana Toronto board members welcomed as 2017 plans take shape

At our board meeting of Jan.23, 2017 we were pleased to welcome new member, Salvador Altamirano, long time co-worker of “green” Toronto architect David Fujiwara. Red Panamericana Toronto encourages board applications from all committed to a better city by building Toronto’s social economy through sport. With encouragement from a major Canadian bank we will be seeking additional sponsors in the month ahead and publicizing our project among philanthropic organizations, the municipality and educational institutions.                                                                                                                                                 REMINDER TO ALL: Donations of any size on this blog are a simple and inexpensive way of showing your support for health and wellness opportunities for our partners in some of Toronto’s most under-served neighbourhoods.

TorontotheBetter plans soccer project for Nepalese street children in Kathmandu

Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world and its many street children are among the poorest of the poor. But Nepal is the current South Asian champion in football (soccer), the most popular game in the world, and Torontothebetter’s Red Panamericana Toronto community development through sport programme is exploring an opening to provide the many opportunities of organized football to hundreds of such children fending for themselves in the streets of Kathmandu. To learn more about our developing partnership on this project with Nepaalese charity Norbuling Children’s Home stay tuned to this blog. And support our community sports projects in Toronto or Nepal by making a donation of on any size on our home page at http://www.redpanamericana.wordpress.

Showing like a pro-The Future of football in Toronto’s Jane-Finch Neighbourhood

Cruyff Court Toronto talked to, and played with (photo) , audience members at Driftwood Community Centre’s Multicultural Festival on Sept. 24th and signed up many as prospective Cruyff Court followers. The fair trade soccer ball in the photo was raffled and will be presented to  the winner at the Driftwood Centre next week.                                     “Cruyff Court Toronto – bringing the people’s game to the people”

Cruyff Court Toronto seeks volunteers

Red Panameicana Toronto, a non-profit partnership of the Hispanic Development Council [www.hispaniccouncil.ca] and TorontotheBetter Learning and Development [www.torontothebetter.net] seeks volunteers to help develop Canada’s first Cruyff Court [a mini-soccer field and fair play programme set up by soccer great Johan Cruyff] at the Toronto azzurri Youth Sport Village [www.torontothebetter.net/2taysv.htm] in the Jane-Finch area of Toronto. We invite volunteers and students with interests and aptitude in soccer, community and social development to  submit applications by email to redpanto@outlook.com. A work schedule will be developed to suit the volunteer. Activities include ommunity outreach, programme development, research, web design and information management. This is a ground floor opportunity and there is a possibility of paid work for the right person(s) as our project develops. Diverse language skills are a definite asset. if you have questins please call TororntotheBetter at 416-707-3509.

 

Football – where is it going?

As football continues to expand around the globe, with until very recently large “football immune” countries like the USA and India now joining the party, inevitably the culture(s) of football changes too. A recent book by  Gabriel Kuhn – “Soccer vs the State” celebrates the game’s rebellious working class seeds, but in 2016 it is worth doing a cutural MIC check.

Professional football  was always a money and social control enterprise from its capitalist origins in 19th century England and its potentially destablizing class origins have been kept in check whenever they spill out, as occasionally still, in violence that could jeopardize those who financially own the game. Football is not exactly the opium of the masses, since 20th century social protest and revolution were populated with footballing fans but has the potential to be so directed.

Requiring just a ball to play, although even that was beyond the means of many of our working class ancestors, football will always be a poular game because of its technological and financial accessibillity. But as is evident in the collapse of Brazilian football in recent years the days of street footballers like Pele taking on and beating the world are likely gone for ever. It is not that Neymar and his teammates are incapable athletically but do they have the “hunger” that motivated their formed in the streets predecessors in yellow?

Cars own the streets in most football-intense urban settings, discouraging street football, and kids with talent are parentally propelled into academies which cost significant investment. Football’s passion, like that of all the most  accesible/popular sports such as basketball is social/collective in origin while the energy comes from “hunger”, both material and cultural. “I exist and can possibly beat someone at this game, if nowhere else” is the message and will likely always be so as long as radical inequality is with us.  But is this still the people’s game  when middle class “academies” are increasingly the route to success?

If we left the story there the implications would be depressing, but simultaneously with the growth of increasingly corporatized football has arisen another trend, of which soccer legend Johan Cruyff’s Foundation was the pioneer and which this blog’s purpose is to celebrate. Cruyff was motivated by his awareness of the gulf spearating those with, from those without, the ability to participate, for financial, or physical, reasons. He initiated the contruction of Cruyff Court facilities to  bridge that gulf. And in an age  of growing extremes this is a  fight worth fighting and to which Red Panamericana’s plannned Cruyff Court Toronto is dedicated.