This year, Havergal is hosting its sixth year of hosting the Jumpstart AIM Sport for Community Camp. Led by high school students from across the GTA, this two-week camp teaches youth from Havergal’s community partner schools a variety of athletic skills in swimming, rugby, basketball, cricket, tennis and volleyball, instructed by professional athletes and coaches at the university and national level.
Camp Directors (Old Girls) Alysha Law (Class of 2012) and Katie Gerstle (Class of 2012) have been involved with the camp since its first year in 2010. “The idea for AIM Sports Camp was inspired by Havergal students who wanted to be involved in the community through sports,” Alysha explained. The camp branched out of the Athletes in Motion (AIM) program, which is supported by the Institute at Havergal.
Each group of campers is led by Leaders in Training (LITs), which are unpaid student volunteer positions. “We tell our LITs not to expect to turn these kids into Olympic athletes, but to teach them how to play and be happy,” Katie said. “You can see some of the campers progress from being afraid to touch the water in the pool on the first day to bobbing in the shallow end with a lifejacket by the end of the week. It may not seem like much, but it is a big step for these kids. That’s what our campers get from their camp experience: the confidence and skills to participate in sports.”