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Coach Dane

March 12, 2024

I have dedicated my life to empowering and elevating youth in my community. Through my work at MLSE LaunchPad I have been able to continue to make an impact and share my skills with many of Toronto’s kids and their families.

I was raised in the Jane & Finch neighbourhood of Toronto, and began working at Toronto Community Housing, where I coached sports to the local kids. I brought innovation and change to the organization by partnering with KickStart to create programs in twelve neighbourhoods across the city. Through my hard work and strong hiring skills, the program was able to continue to expand throughout the Toronto Community Housing network.

It was during this time that I was first introduced to various members of the MLSE Foundation staff, who at the time were in the process of opening MLSE LaunchPad. I was hired as one of the first coaches for the space, and have helped MLSE LaunchPad grow and evolve to what it is today.

Now I’m a program supervisor at MLSE Launchpad, and I work hard to be someone who embodies MLSE LaunchPad’s mission of being more than a gym, a place where kids can realize their potential through sports.

It's important for kids to see people who look like them and come from similar neighbourhoods in positions of leadership. I have been on the front lines for over fifteen years, and I’ve had kids come back to my programs as counsellors and coaches. I know what they’re going through, and together we give them a light at the end of the tunnel.

I pride myself on having the trust and support of the youth members, parents and fellow staff members of MLSE LaunchPad, and bring my knowledge about education, sports and safety procedures to work every day. But most of all, I love getting to see kids transform through the various programs at MLSE LaunchPad.

My commitment to Toronto’s youth has only grown throughout the years, and I hope to continue to be someone they look up to. I enjoy the responsibility and pressure of leadership, and want to keep proving to the kids that they can be anything they want to be when they grow up.

“Coach Dane is one of those guys. He’s a pillar in his community, especially in the west end.”

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