Winnipeg’s Syrian community has grown considerably in the last year and LRSD has a key role to play in welcoming our newcomers into Canadian culture.
Understanding that Winnipeg winters and adjusting to English language classes are significant challenges, Frontenac School began working on a unique new project for its 12 new Syrian students. Helping the newcomer students and families connect with their community, the staff at Frontenac found that bringing something familiar from home would have a positive impact.
Frontenac’s community liaison worker Margaret Lapenskie turned to soccer, the beautiful game, to bring something from home to their new Canadian lives. The students were very excited at the opportunity to play football, giggling at the term 'soccer' (which is only used in North America).
Roger Moreira, assistant worker in the Frontenac Family Centre and the soccer convenor at Winakwa Community Centre, joined the team as well, offering the Winakwa CC soccer program as the perfect vehicle to support this opportunity.
Grants from Sport Manitoba’s KidSport covered most of the registration costs, while the Winakwa Board generously waived remaining portions of the fees to ensure that no student would be turned away.
The community then came together to donate the necessary equipment to play, including soccer cleats, shin guards and jerseys.
Since joining the program the newcomer students have felt more confident and comfortable in school. It's also helped the students make new friends in their neighbourhoods!
The extra donated equipment will be stored at Winakwa CC to provide opportunities for future soccer players who might benefit from a little community support along with a familiar touch of home.
Thank you to Margaret, Roger and all of the staff and support at Frontenac for creating this opportunity for our new community members!