While we’re excited to very carefully get back to sport this summer, we remain constantly and acutely aware of current COVID-19 events and realities as well as the relentless pursuit for equality in our world. While we are not doing enough, we remain committed to our mission, vision and operational focus on equality across our programs and services as a local foundation.
Recent events are devastating - second only to allowing systemic racism to persist. We stand with the black, and indigenous community, specifically, during this time and forever more.
The Vancouver Basketball Foundation™ is excited to announce Chrissy Benz as our Executive Director. A co-founder of The Vancouver Metro Basketball League™, Chrissy works at UBC in the Athletic Dept and has been involved in Vancouver Basketball and community impact for over a decade. A former executive at Volleyball Canada, Chrissy has an extensive background in both high-level basketball and international volleyball. She is also a mother of two strong, beautiful girls.
Megan Pinske joins our leadership team as the Vice President of Community Impact. She is a former professional basketball player and member of the Canadian National Team. Megan started her coaching career at the University of Alberta while obtaining her Masters in Coaching Leadership. She then served as the full-time Assistant Coach for the University of Saskatchewan from 2015-2018, winning the USport Championship in 2016. Megan is focused on driving forward our key initiatives and leading several of our programs as well as strategic partnership development.
We are a proud partner of Jr.NBA in Canada. The Jr. NBA program is a national youth basketball program designed to develop fundamental skills, leadership, sportsmanship, and a love of the game of basketball. Our winter Jr.NBA programs ran in both Burnaby and Richmond accommodating three different age groups (Grades 1-7).
In partnership with Victory Creative Group, Inc., The Vancouver Basketball Foundation has spearheaded a community initiative with Gilmore Elementary to refurbish the school's outdoor court. Gilmore Elementary, located in Burnaby, is a Community School that provides programs and services to local children and families. Not only will this increase access to sport, it will bring the community even closer together. Our goal remains to refurbish ten sport courts in ten years (10x10) for the local Vancouver basketball community.
Grow The Game® Women’s Roundtable launched in April, 2020. This program provides our female coaches and leaders with a community that serves as a place for meaningful conversation, growth and community impact. While originally intended to be in person, we pivoted during COVID-19 to a digital platform that is offered each month and continues to grow in numbers and strength.
The Vancouver Basketball Foundation has developed the Play More, Limit Less™ Project focused on getting targeted resources into our community where it’s needed most. Specifically, this program focuses primarily on bringing digital & technology services as well as health and fitness initiatives into the homes of our community. We have delivered Foundation Kits to students in East Vancouver that include a laptop/tablet, Nike gym bag, skipping rope, NBA basketball, notebook and water bottle. We look forward to continuing this project for years to come.
During COVID-19 The Vancouver Basketball Foundation has provided small group digital fitness and basketball workouts over the past 3 months multiple times a week to East Van students. We have also provided workout videos and challenges to Elementary schools in Burnaby and Richmond.
The Vancouver Basketball Foundation is supporting the 2020 Britannia Graduation experience on June 23rd. Students and families have been robbed of many celebrations in the past months. We want to help give students a memorable and impactful experience for their High School graduation and inspire their future endeavors.
This summer, we are excited to launch STRONGHER™; an inclusive strength program for young, adolescent women. This program will encourage competence and confidence in every aspect of strength training, with the goal to inspire a life-long passion for active wellness. In a supportive and safe female-identified environment, participants will challenge themselves physically and mentally, while developing confidence and leadership skills.