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Elevate Sport Announces Partnership with Urban Native Youth Association

-- At-risk Urban Native Youth to Benefit from 2010 --

Friday, June 5th, 2009 (Vancouver, BC) Surrounded by eager and inspired Aboriginal Youth in Vancouver yesterday, Elevate Sport, an Official Licensee for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, announced a partnership with the Downtown Eastside’s Urban Native Youth Association (UNYA). The youth were gathered at UNYA’s activity centre to provide a demonstration of some of the fitness and self defense skills they’ve learned as participants in the Aboriginal Youth First program (AYF).

As part of Elevate’s licensee commitment to the Games, they announced they will donate a percentage of proceeds from headwear sales to an aboriginal cause and in support of revitalizing Vancouver’s inner city, and they’ve selected the UNYA’s AYF program as its partner. The Aboriginal Youth First Sports and Recreation Program utilizes sports and recreation as a means to foster leadership amongst Aboriginal youth in East Vancouver.  The program provides diverse, barrier-free sports and recreation programming that engages Aboriginal youth, many whom face significant socio-economic barriers to their participation.

“We are honoured to be able to create a partnership with an organization like UNYA,” said Will Andrew, Elevate Sport President. “The Aboriginal Youth First Sports and Recreation program is a natural fit for us, as we are always interested in working with youth to help them achieve their dreams and goals. This is just the first day of our partnership and we are already incredibly inspired to continue to grow our relationship.”

Since the AYF Program started in 2003, they have developed and delivered a broad range of programming that includes snowboarding, fitness, self defense, hiking and canoeing.  Through this program, Aboriginal youth in East Vancouver have opportunities to explore new sports and recreation activities they would otherwise never experience.  Youth also learn about fitness and nutrition, gain cultural knowledge, and enhance their lifeskills.  

Through AYF, youth have become certified as snowboard instructors, have led a Spring Break Basketball Camp, and have participated in Canoe Journeys with police and local First Nations.  Through such opportunities, Native youth are not only contributing to their community, but they are creating a stronger sense of community and team-building amongst their peers, which ultimately fosters healthy relationships and builds a stronger community for us all.

“Elevate Sport’s goals are to inspire sport, promote athletes and embrace the “spirit of the game”, said Dena Klashinsky, UNYA’s Community Developer and Program Coordinator. “This philosophy ties in beautifully with the mandate of the AYF Program, as we strive to inspire Aboriginal youth to explore their passions through sports and recreation, and excel in all that they do. With support from Elevate Sport and other committed partners, we look forward to creating even more opportunities for Native youth, and working to create a healthier community together.”

At Thursday’s presentation, Elevate Sport provided its first contribution to UNYA in the amount of $6,000. It is the initial intent that these funds be used towards enabling AYF members to participate in this year’s Canoe Journey with police and local First Nations.

About the Urban Native Youth Association

The Urban Native Youth Association is a youth-driven, prevention-focused organization that supports Aboriginal youth in Vancouver by providing a range of programs and services in collaboration with over 130 community partners. Currently, UNYA offers 21 programs focused in the areas of residential, personal, and educational support, as well as sports and recreation.  Through all of its programs, the goal is to foster a sense of belonging and independence amongst Aboriginal youth. Last year, UNYA worked with 26 community partners to deliver 19 different activities totaling almost 7,000 hours in direct programming, and we had over 800 youth visits.  With increased knowledge and skills, youth are making healthier life choices.  They are encouraging their peers to come out and be active, and they are mentoring other youth as they step into roles of leadership as volunteers, coaches, instructors and peer leaders.  

About Elevate Sport

Elevate Sport is a fully-owned subsidiary of the Trimark Sportswear Group, and was founded in 2006, when the company was named as an Official Licensee of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games for lifestyle and activewear made of poly/polyblends. With it's selection to be an Official Licensee, Trimark recognized the need to raise the bar and created Elevate Sport to become the industry leader.  The company is based on the philosophy to inspire sport, promote athletes and embrace the spirit of the game. Every Elevate Sport garment tells a story: the tough training days, the fear of defeat and the victory celebration in the game you love! Elevate your senses, Elevate your style, Elevate your game. For more information, check out www.elevatesport.ca

For more information, photos, or to speak with someone from UNYA or Elevate Sport, please contact:

Betsy Cooper

principal

b*co communications

office:  778-329-7389<

mobile:  778-229-4947

email:   cooper@b-co.ca

web:  www.b-co.ca

twitter: b_co