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Toronto Police Service, Ryerson, Loblaw team up to put an end to bullying

By Antoinette Mercurio

Rising Rams

The Team Up Against Bullying event was created out of the Rising Rams outreach program for local youth.

Ryerson Rams, Toronto Police Service (TPS) and Loblaw are joining forces to fight bullying at Toronto schools.

Team Up Against Bullying brings students from six inner-city schools to the Mattamy Athletic Centre for a day of fun and educational activities about anti-bullying. The field trip is designed to educate and create awareness about bullying and ways to prevent it, not only in school but in the cyber world as well. Team Up Against Bullying is part of Ryerson’s Rising Rams, an outreach program for local youth. Rising Rams – Ryerson athletes – visit Grades 6 to 8 classes to help motivate students to succeed in school and pursue post-secondary education.

"The role of sport in society shines the spotlight on student-athletes and provides an opportunity to present a positive platform,” says Ivan Joseph, director of athletics at Ryerson University. “We have an obligation as a university and athletic department to serve as positive role models and mentors.”

More than 300 students ranging in age from 11 to 14 are expected to attend the event, which takes place in anticipation of anti-bullying week Nov. 18 to 24. Team Up Against Bullying was created in response to an increase in bullying behaviours witnessed by Toronto Police Services and Rising Rams who visited the schools. Throughout the coming year, the Rising Rams will visit the participating schools for continued talks about bullying and how to prevent it.

“The opportunity to partner up with Ryerson University for the Team Up Against Bullying provides us with an ideal outlet to show the youth of Toronto that making the right choices can provide them with great opportunities,” says P.C. Rob McDonald of 55 Division. “Varsity student-athletes from Ryerson participating with the youth really reinforces the message we are trying to get across.”

The day will include a motivational address from Jason Colero, director of education programs and the Argos Foundation with the Toronto Argonauts Football Club as well as founder of the Huddle Up Bullying Prevention Program. 2015 Pan Am Games Ambassadors Ibrahim and Miranda Kamal will also speak to the students. Ibrahim is an undefeated professional boxer and eight-time Canadian champion. Miranda is the founder and executive director of Mentoring Junior Kids Organization and the recipient of the 2012 Ontario Coaching Excellence Trailblazer Award. Also included are foul-shooting competitions between Ryerson, TPS and Loblaw Companies Limited and the day will end with a basketball game between the Ryerson Rams men’s and women’s team against the Asia Pacific Consultative Committee Police Basketball Team. Officers from 51 and 55 Division and the Divisional Policing Support Unit will also come out to support the event.

The team at Loblaw Companies Limited will be providing healthy lunch options for the visiting students.

-with files from Johanna VanderMaas

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