In 2010, Jean-Claude Munyezamu started a Saturday soccer club in his neighbourhood in Calgary as a way for immigrant and low-income children to get involved with their community.
The program was an enormous success welcoming kids of every age, skill level, culture and economic background. More than 100 boys and girls have taken part, from such countries as Syria, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Somalia, Sudan, Rwanda, Korea, China, The Philippines, Uruguay, Colombia, Congo and more. Many of these children came to Canada as refugees.
The Saturday Soccer Club was featured in The Calgary Herald and The Journal, on CBC Radio and Shaw TV, and in 2012 Jean-Claude was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Medal for his work with it. He now sits on the Premier’s Council on Culture.
Today, Jean-Claude’s original grassroots volunteer group has grown into Soccer Without Boundaries, an innovative multicultural outreach program aimed at integrating new Canadians into their community. Soccer, Music and Connecting is something they all share, regardless of their culture, creed or nationality, and Soccer Without Boundaries is designed to bring them together. It breaks down barriers and lets children feel that they belong. It allows them to build self-esteem, develop leadership skills and strengthen social relationships through teamwork, fair play, and conflict resolution. It also provides their parents and families with a means to volunteer and get involved.
The programs run year round, indoor and outdoor, on the strength of its wonderful volunteers: coaches, assistant coaches, helpers and donated soccer gear (shin guards, shoes, balls). Contact us today to see how you can get involved!