Charity helps refugee children participate in sports
Ready Set Play helps underprivileged families connect with recreational groups
A charity that helps underprivileged children play sports around the city is upping its game to keep up with the arrival of Syrian refugees.
Graham Mackenzie of Ready Set Play says the group he formed with his wife is already doing more work with newly arrived families who are looking to get their kids into recreational programs, but lack either the money or know-how to navigate the application process.
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"Families are challenged, not only financially, but with where to find programs," Mackenzie said during an appearance Tuesday on CBC's Metro Morning. "Imagine if you were new to Toronto but didn't know where to find programs or what kind of programs are available."
Lack of internet access, credit cards and the sometimes complex forms that need to be filled out also pose barriers, he said.
"We try to work with social workers to take those barriers away."
The group was founded in 2014. Mackenzie said it stemmed from a conversation with his wife "about how unfair life can be and how challenging it can be."
"How can our own children get every opportunity in life and some kids, through no fault of their own, can't?"
He says the group is already working to meet the needs of newly arrived Syrian families.
Sports, he says, is a great way for kids to "get to know and integrate" with a community.