The London Professional Fire Fighters Association supports the LYAC and is proud to be part of this great tournament.

The London Professional Fire Fighters Association supports the LYAC and is proud to be part of this great tournament.

The following Blog is from the LYAC

Wadhah’s Basketball Tournament

            It was a difficult process and a new experience for Wadhah Baobaid, the Ward 12 Councillor at the London Youth Advisory Council, who had never organized a tournament before. Some told him to accomplish smaller tasks first but a few of his fellow councillors, including Ward 4’s Nicole Worozbyt and Ward 7’s Melissa Zuleta Jimenez, embraced the idea and helped him enormously along the way.

Wadhah wanted city councillors and firefighters to take part so that children in the neighbourhood could see them at a casual event, as opposed to on duty in their uniforms. The Professional Fire Fighters of London were quick to jump on board and many enthusiastically spent most of the day on or around the courts. He knew a lot of the youth in his community had dreams of becoming firefighters themselves so it was great that they were able to actually play with their idols. As far as Wadhah could tell, the kids did not have many positive interactions with law enforcement, so the presence of the firefighters at the tournament was a marvelous way for them to come together in a safe and neutral setting.

The basketball court used was located in the White Oaks area and it was not in the best of shape. A group in the community regularly plays there and at one point they signed a petition to try to get the city to fix the courts. One reason Wadhah organized this tournament was to give back to them. By inviting many members, including city councillors, he hoped to draw awareness to this issue and hoped that if they saw the state of the court, they would do something to maintain it.

Teams were set up and the winning team got to play against the firefighters. Then, the firefighters played the celebrities (the city councillors) in an action-packed all-star final. People never get to see politicians or firefighters engaged in activities like basketball and this gave them the opportunity to do just so, he said. Wadhah would like to thank these sponsors who made the tournament possible: Meddix College of Healthcare, Pita Pita, John Hatch Sports Camps, Downtown London, MRCSSI, and the LYAC. All in all, it was a beautiful day in more ways than one.