2020 in Review - Canadians joined CNFA, Toronto Police Services, York Lions to celebrate BHM IN FEB.
Updated: Feb 1, 2021
BY PETER MARTIN
On February 22, 2020, Canadians were still living their "normal" lives like they always had. During that time, due to cold weather, parents would contact CNFA inquiring for Indoor Soccer "FUTSAL™" (5v5 played on a hardwood court with a smaller heavier ball) and wanting to register their children for recreational physical activities during winter in their respective regions. The Canadian National FUTSAL™ Association - CNFA, organized a youth sports event permitted by it's charter 5.02(D) in "celebration of Canadian Heritage through community events". With a vision of having tremendous community impact on social economic developments, community solidarity and building trust among Canadians from minority groups to feel loved in our society and welcomed by everyone.
The Youth Sports Event of the Decade to celebrate Black History Month was hosted at York University with a tremendous impact on parents, children, youth, Police Services and the community in general, including government representatives that some financially
sponsored the event like Judy A. Sgro MP Humber River - Black Creek. Others were Faisal Hassan MPP York South -Weston, Tom Rakocevic MPP Humber River - Black Creek, Ms. Wangari Muruiki, Director of Operations - Across Boundaries, Jackie Lewis, Pastor Eddie Jumba (DCI), Mr. Winston LaRose, Ms. Nyamde Alicia JFEI and TAMOGO representatives.
Children and Youth
The positive thing was the active social play and skills engagement for children before the major event. Tom Stewart, the founder of Eznet Inc. had set up eznets for kids to play. Dennis Thompson, a Toronto based Canadian free stylist, CNFA coaches, volunteers and Toronto Police Services Officers arrived at the court to share their skills with the youth. Some of the youth were so eager to attend that they arrived at the facility almost 3 hours early. https://youtu.be/9F2-RIlQKEs
Dave McNee, the managing director of Quantum Sports Learning Association "QSLA Foundation", together with other QSLA staff were keen to introduce ballmatics to the youth in addition to FUTSAL™. Pro. Carlos Juan Ceriani who authorized Indoor Soccer as a solution to discrimination of his student at YMCA on the corner of Colonia and Rio Negro neighbourhood of Montevideo Uruguay "similar to Jane and Finch or Thorncliffe in Toronto ON, Surrey in Vancouver BC in Canada" was inspired by Canadian James Naismith, the creator of Basketball, to write the eleven laws of Indoor Soccer published in 1933. For CNFA to include basketball at the event was a phenomenal idea for youth in non compete sports to be inspired, have fun, feel loved and empowered.
Toronto Police Services vs Canadian Communities Team
Speaking from a media point of view with over 1,000 live viewers watching on Facebook (https://tinyurl.com/CNFA2020), the stunning footage taken showcased that this was the best atmosphere at a community event in Canada 2020. Before the game began at 2:30 pm ET, all guests made speeches and of course when you talk about BHM, if you don't talk about music you might break hearts of Canadians most especially those with African (Caribbean) and Latin American descent. It was a Jamaican based musician, I-Noah, who entertained the community with children following him all over the court before Inspector Lisa Crooker captained the Police Squad onto the court followed by Coach Marco Leite with his Community Team.
The Police, as always, took the lead 2:0 before the Community Team equalized into the second half with a well entertained crowd, full of cheers for both teams. The Community Team lead the game 5:2 however the Police fought back in unbelievable style to tie the game 5:5, with Nurdeen Shobambi, the centre referee of the day, sending the game to penalties after full time whistle. Nobody predicted that the best goal of the event, if not the goal of the year in Canada FUTSAL™ 2020 was to be produced by constable Vidal TPS from a penalty shot. The men and women in uniform went on to win the contest 4:3 in penalties defeating the Canadian Community team. See game highlights: https://youtu.be/p1B12LxWxaU
"It is time for associations like CNFA and institutions like the Canadian Police Association (Toronto Police service) to embrace things that are unique about different heritages, you can be different and that's unique we encourage everyone to connect to whom they're they will benefit Canada. This has been a special community event, I want to take this opportunity to thank everybody who answered this special 911 call from sponsors, partners, parents, participants for showcasing love and generosity, I congratulate the police for winning this special celebration of the Canadian Heritage (BHM) and we hope other associations will join CNFA and organize more events across Canada with a similar goal". Johnson Luyiga, President of the Canadian National FUTSAL™ Association.
"Mostly we're very excited with the number of youth who are participating in this event in particular with racialized youth and Across Boundaries we provide services in mental health and addiction to racialized communities we are excited about this partnership, for youth, sports is an outlet not just physical but mental and communal I would wish this to be quarterly for boys and girls group with a grand final at the end of the year". Ms. Wangari Muruiki, Director of Operations Across Boundaries. https://youtu.be/5WJ9VBCGIr8
"It was a wonderful event today we had a fantastic time so grateful we were invited to this event to play Fut-Sal for the first time, this is our first community event in this area and we look forward for it being annual and hopefully returning in 2021 as champs lot of time people see us in uniform and official, sometimes we need these events were we can come out and interact as a community and that's what it's all about". Insp Lisa Crooker, Toronto Police Services. https://youtu.be/gz_sDEBJ3ag
"It is these breathe taking moments that make us look forward to brighter days ahead, placement students with us taking videography courses need such opportunities for them to showcase their skills to Canadian and the world, they made us proud capturing this event i hope CNFA will consider us for more events to come". Phillip Mugabi, CEO Phil Media Marketing and Consulting.
CNFA recognized the remarkable, tremendous momentum and expertise of the event MC Mercy Monday, as well as Becky Jor, Brahim Kallon, Victoria Wilson, Dennis Thompson, Alicia Nyamde, and Priscilla Appiah.
This event was all inclusive and also accessible to persons with disabilities. https://youtu.be/WybxkMHo2Lc
Three weeks after this tremendous event, Canada, most especially Ontario, went into a lockdown due to the pandemic. In March 2020 CNFA had to restrict operations of Indoor Soccer (FUTSAL™) across Canada to limit the spread of the virus. In fact, in the east and north end of Toronto, the association received 1,600 athletes under the age of 16 participating in the free community centre play pilot project from September 2019, plus 600 participants in the New Comers to Canada draft under it's Sports For All Canada initiative.
The closure caused a lot of anxiety, sadness, loneliness, inactivity, depression, tension, mental challenges and other uncertainties which are direct and indirect. We hope that 2021 will be a year where we help to rebuild our communities on a psychological prospective with our proud partners with limited capacity events starting from June, taking into consideration all health measures and protocols in various cities, municipalities and provinces across Canada.
Internationally, the Under 15 FUTSAL™ World Cup scheduled for July 2020 in Paraguay and the Under 17 FUTSAL™ World Cup scheduled for November 2020 in Uruguay, was postponed due to the Pandemic. The World Governing Body of Indoor Soccer -AMF (Asociacion Mundial de FUTSAL®) is still optimistic about U15 World Championships to take place in 2021. CNFA will be issuing updates about local and international events as they develop.
Here's to a better year - 2021!