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June 8 2019 - Cabana & Polson Pier
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Your Team. Three Sports. One Day.

The MLSE Team Up Challenge presented by Ford is a unique, multi-sport tournament where teams of 8-10 players compete in basketball, soccer, ball hockey, beach volleyball and beach dodgeball.

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Shireen

To kick it off, I'll tell the story of Shireen - an 11 year old girl who was one of the first members to sign up when we opened our doors in February 2017. Shireen is here after school on a daily basis with her sister Hannah & they have been two of our most engaged members since we opened. MLSE LaunchPad has been open for 18 months, about 380 days of programs. They have checked in for about 320 of them. 
 
One Monday morning, we walked into work to find a message from Shireen that she wrote while here for Saturday programs. Message attached & below. Nobody had asked Shireen to write this - she simply wanted to express what this place means to her so she picked up some markers that were lying around and the whiteboard was her outlet.
 
“Hello, if you are reading this it means that you go to MLSE LaunchPad. My name is Shireen and this is a place for developing skills and believing in who you are. This is my favourite place to be. MLSE can give you opportunities nobody can ever give you! Here you learn how to collaborate in peace and make friends. Here at MLSE you can meet important people like the Toronto Raptors, Toronto FC, people from the Toronto Maple Leafs, anyways you get what I’m saying right? MLSE is my safe haven, my place where anything is possible! Come to MLSE and you will see the benefits of learning. There are a lot of youth mentors to help you out in case you’re in trouble and staff to help you out with skills and sports that will benefit your happiness! My name is Shireen and LaunchPad is every kid’s dream.” 
 
Last month, Shireen and her sister Hannah took the stage at GP Summit with Tanya Mruck to share their experience a larger audience. They told the crowd more about why MLSE LaunchPad is special, how it's given them a platform to try new things, how it's allowed them to build new relationships and connect to their community. 
 
Shireen is not an outlier; over the last 18 months, it has been amazing to watch youth from our community grow. To know we're a piece of that development - big or small - is why we love coming to work. 
 
- MLSE LaunchPad team 

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