Tomorrow’s Legends is a non-profit organization devoted to empowering youth through sport and culture.
Tomorrow's Legends has launched an initiative to build a multi-sport and cultural complex in the greater Sydney area to enable various sporting organizations to provide sports and related programs to the region's youth. The state-of-the-art solar powered facility will house a two-court surface with various configurations for basketball, volleyball and other indoor activities. Through partnerships with long standing sports organizations, the facility will be home to several teams and events where kids can play at both recreational and competitive levels. It's grand foyer will celebrate Cape Breton's cultural diversity, showcasing the many different people and groups that came from all around the world to make the island home. By holding the notion that cultural awareness leads to greater acceptance of people’s differences, making a better place for all, this complex will be truly unique in fostering an atmosphere where kids can achieve great things – even legendary things beyond the sports they play.
Youth Sports in Cape Breton
The Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM) has nine ice rinks. Five of these rinks are operated by CBRM, with an estimated annual operating cost of $1.2 million. A sixth facility is soon to come under CBRM operations, bringing estimated annual operating costs between $1.5 and $2 million. Collectively, the nine facilities accommodate high school hockey and the 2400 kids enrolled in minor hockey programs. This is certainly a testament to supporting our youth to play one of the most popular sports in the country. However, this falls significantly short of covering the broad spectrum of indoor sports that our kids want to play. Our arenas cater primarily to male athletes of higher socioeconomic status, playing a single sport. There are no indoor facilities for the 2000 kids (comprised of 55:45 male-to-female ratio), actively enrolled in other major sporting organizations in CBRM.
Our Legends facility will enable organized sports and related activities to be delivered to our youth regardless of socioeconomic status as, when compared to hockey, many indoor sports cost substantially less to participate. This will fill a major void for the 2000+ kids who are struggling to access school facilities and will likely be permanently displaced from these temporary venues post-pandemic. It will also enable sporting organizations to meet the growing demand for their programs.
The communities in the greater Sydney area are part of Cape Breton Regional Municipality. Many of these communities have child and family poverty rates in excess of 30%. This is a startling statistic that has barely changed in the past five years. In fact, since 2014, the decrease in the rate is less than 1%. This is despite a motion passed by the House of Commons in 1989 to eradicate child poverty. Since that time, Nova Scotia's child poverty rate has dropped by just 0.82%.
While we recognize that solving the problem of child and family poverty is no easy feat we believe that youth empowerment can play a vital role . By building confidence, strengthening relationships and contributing to better health, kids have a far greater chance of achieving financial prosperity in their adult lives. Providing the necessary infrastructure, reducing barriers to enrollment in organized sports and giving opportunities to everyone regardless of socioeconomic status is a significant step in lifting kids out of poverty.
Youth empowerment will be a crowning achievement not only for the athletes and families who participate but for our entire island. Tomorrow's Legends complex will be serve as a unique cultural sports centre that will deliver sustainable and consistent programs to our youth while serving as a first-class complex that will attract people from across the country.