Virtual Program Launching This Week Focuses On Equality And Racial Injustices
Toronto, ON – The off-season of 2020 presented Damon Edwards with an option to leave the team he had played for since 2012 as he had earned the right to become an unrestricted free agent. However, he was far from interested in leaving his hometown team and when he re-signed, he spoke about the importance of contributing to the city as being the determining factor for his return to the Rock.
Edwards is making good on that promise with the launch of the Damon45 school program this week. The program is built on three pillars: understand, educate and unity.
“I wanted to start the program because today’s youth have a lot of questions,” explained Edwards. “They don’t necessarily know what’s going on with racial equality and injustices. I want to help educate them about why it is so important to be inclusive of everyone.”
Edwards grew up as the son of a black father and a white mother. As a bi-racial professional athlete, he wants to use his voice to help bridge the awareness gap with the youth of the Greater Toronto Area.
“There has been a lot of attention in the media with Black Lives Matter, racial equality and injustice,” said Edwards. “I want to give them more of an understanding of the issues and challenges ahead. I want to help educate them on the subject and give them the tools to also educate themselves and educate others too. Lastly, when it comes to unity, I want to show the kids that we as a society are more powerful when we are united, no matter the colour of your skin. We need to work together instead of against each other.”
The game of lacrosse has given Damon a lot of opportunities including playing professionally in his own backyard with the Toronto Rock. The Damon45 school program will also allow him to grow the game of lacrosse.
“I want to introduce the game to a wider scope of kids,” said Edwards. “While lacrosse is growing fast, there is still a lot of room for growth in terms of who is playing the game. As part of the program, I will explain some of the history behind the game because a lot of kids don’t know where the game came from and why it’s so important to the Iroquois and why it’s such an important game.”
Edwards will begin virtually visiting schools and speaking to students this week. In the future, when it is safe to do so, he will be visiting students in-person and expanding the lacrosse portion of the program, getting lacrosse sticks into the hands of youth across the city and beyond.
Click here for more information on the Damon45 School Program.
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