Raptors & Rogers Unveil Refurbished Basketball Court

Raptors players Chris Bosh, Jose Calderon, Anthony Parker, Kris Humphries, Will Solomon and Roko Ukic were in attendance. They were joined by Lori Radke from the Raptors Foundation for Kids, Caroline Papadatos from Rogers Communications, the Raptors Foundation for Kids Board Members, City Councillor Kyle Rae, representatives from Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation and 50 youth from the Moss Park community at the court unveiling.

The Raptors Foundation for Kids and the Raptors’ corporate partner Rogers Communications Inc. funded the $100,000 refurbishment for the community basketball court, which serves the youth of Toronto’s Moss Park neighbourhood. The newly renovated court features a graffiti-style mural by local artist Art Child. The donated funds were used to install new hardwood floors, as well as purchase basketball nets, rims, backboards, signage and new sports equipment. A new scoreboard was also installed, courtesy of Concord.

Raptors and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment employees donated their time this summer as part of their company’s community outreach to help paint the entire community centre. Lui’s Painting and Decorating also donated their time to support painting efforts and Sherwin-Williams donated the paint supplies.

The basketball court strongly reflects the Raptors brand that includes the popular Raptors Claw at centre court.

“It’s great to see the positive impact the Raptors and Raptors Foundation for Kids have in the community," said Bosh. “We know the refurbishments will help the kids get the most out of the programs offered by John Innes Community Centre.”

The John Innes Community Centre runs numerous programs including basketball leagues, indoor soccer, badminton, volleyball and floor hockey. It first opened in 1951 for the residents of Regent Park and Moss Park. Moss Park is one of 13 high priority neighbourhoods in Toronto. The community centre is owned and operated by Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation land, which supported the construction and design process of the court.

"A facility such as the John Innes Community Centre is a tremendous community asset and makes a difference for the neighbourhood by giving young people a place where they can focus their energy on positive activities,” said Lori Radke, executive director for the Raptors Foundation for Kids. "The Raptors Foundation for Kids is committed to our city’s youth and to legacy projects such as building and refurbishing sports facilities. These projects make our communities a better place to live, as well as support city building and neighbourhood sustainability.”

“This is a great day for the community of Moss Park and Rogers Communications is thrilled to be a part of it,” said Caroline Papadatos, senior vice-president, customer and corporate marketing at Rogers Communications Inc. “As a partner of the Raptors and Raptors Foundation for Kids, we’re excited to be part of a legacy program that has had a positive impact on Toronto’s communities and youth. We know this newly renovated facility will provide years of great basketball for the youth who use it.”

“Today’s re-opening is a great example of how the public and private sectors can act in tandem to strengthen our communities,” said Councillor Kyle Rae (Ward 27 Toronto Centre-Rosedale). “We all need to work together to increase investment in our neighborhoods so that we can all live in, work in and play in a strong, safe city. This refurbished gymnasium is an investment in the local community to help ensure young people’s success today and set a foundation for years to come.”

The Raptors Foundation for Kids builds and refurbishes basketball courts and community centres as part of their Legacy Program that was established two years ago. The basketball court at John Innes Community Centre is the fourth court, and third legacy project to benefit from funding from the Raptors Foundation for Kids and Rogers Communications. Previous court builds took place at Toronto’s Woolner and Cornell Parks.

The Raptors Foundation for Kids is committed to helping at risk youth across Ontario through legacy projects and grants. The Raptors have been long-standing community leaders demonstrating a strong commitment to at-risk youth and charities supporting similar causes. Since its inception, the Raptors Foundation has made a significant difference to more than 5,500 Ontario registered charities by donating more than $17 million.