A Winnipeg inner-city sports camp was hours away from being benched when a local Christian organization graciously offered their space.
The YFC building in downtown Winnipeg has the perfect facilities for a summer sports camp like the one Athletes in Action run, and once they heard the need, they sprang into action.
Carriera Lamoureux is the inner-city supervisor with Athletes in Action. She says that she was praying for a way to continue the program this summer when the building they originally had in mind backed out at the last moment.
"The article was posted on chvnradio.com and I got a call within half an hour from Mark with Youth for Christ. They were saying that they wanted to help facilitate our program." Says Lamoureux.
"They wanted to give us the opportunity to run it by using their gym space. He told me however that I had a few hoops to jump through. That's been the theme of this entire week. Truthfully I didn't get my hopes up too much but I prayed about it."
This specific inner-city program is for anyone ages 12-17 years-old living in Winnipeg's core.
The news of a new facility came just in time.
"Last night around 9:00 he called me with some great news to say that we were allowed to be here for the next two weeks, that we could run our programming as normal, which was so great!" Lamoureux excitedly shares.
"I felt so tremendously blessed as this week had been so stressful. I just felt a weight lifted off my shoulders."
Guidelines are in place to ensure the safety of all involved, in regards to COVID-19.
"The premise of this program is drop-in based. We want kids from the inner-city to come and play. Typically in a non-COVID year, we would facilitate games, scrimages, competitions. The goal is that my kids play basketball here. It's accessible and they can stay here all day if they want to. We often feed them as well."
After a decade of running the program, Lamoureux says she enjoys seeing repeat day-campers.
"Basically we want to meet kids, develop relationships with them, so that one summer turns into two, turns into three or four. I want to keep and retain my kids and then I just want to get to know them."
For people who want to support this initiative, Athletes-in-Action is asking for prayers.
"Please pray for safety. As a coaching group, we've put in very specific measures to try and keep us as coaches safe and our athletes safe. Pray that kids come, that they don't feel threatened by the pandemic but rather come and play their favourite sport."