A Rivière-des-Prairies entrepreneur has converted part of a church into a gymnasium to accommodate young basketball players, sparking an unexpected wave of enthusiasm just two weeks after it opened.
“The demand is definitely there. I didn't think it was going to get so big,” rejoices Raynaldo Jeudy, the instigator of the project.
To be able to train there, young people must enroll in the Canada Elite Montreal program.
Teenagers are then supervised by Raynaldo Jeudy and his team of four part-time coaches and participate in competitions in Canada and the United States.
This new gymnasium, open since the beginning of the month, welcomes 80 basketball players aged 12 to 15 who hope to one day break into the professional ranks. ;
They come from different boroughs in the east of Montreal.
But the enthusiasm is such that the program cannot accept new young people at this time.
Hundreds of other teenagers are on a waiting list. Other cohorts should see the light of day at the end of the summer.
The Church Power of the Word which Delivers, in which the land is located, in Montreal.
24 hours a day
Having played basketball in the neighborhood for a long time during his youth, the 30-year-old man was sorry for the lack of accessibility of the practice premises.
Reservations in the gymnasium are often limited to a few hours.
He therefore decided to offer his community a training center where young people are welcome at any time.
« Those who are registered just send a text message to one of the coaches and we'll come and open the door for them,” he explains.
“It costs parents around $600 to register their child, but that includes travel to the United States, it's really a very affordable price,” he says.
These competitions in American soil are an opportunity for young people to showcase themselves in front of professional recruiters.
During the summer season, intensive training is offered by Canada Elite Montreal.
The basketball coach Antony Verna in action.
Basketball in the church
The construction of this new field was financed by the costs of registration for the program, but also thanks to the rental of the hall to individuals.
But, this new community sports field would not have could not have seen the light of day if the Power of the Word Who Delivers Church had not agreed to rent this premises.
« I am happy that the pastor believes in this project. I believe that today we better realize the importance of sport for the development of young people “, says Raynaldo Jeudy.
This new space also aims to maintain the young people in the area on the right path.
“You have to supervise young people. If they want to play in the NBA, they will have to go to university and it is not there that you start doing nonsense, says the coach.
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