Toronto, Ontario, Canada – The Ultimate Fighting Championship® today launched a new initiative aimed at helping communities across Canada. The UFC Community Works® program seeks to make meaningful contributions to communities in need from coast to coast with a particular focus on at-risk youth.
UFC® Director of Canadian Operations Tom Wright and Ontario native and UFC® fighterSam Stout made the announcement today at Toronto’s Cabbagetown Youth Centre (CYC). Together, they announced a $129,000 commitment to Canadian communities over the next 12 months. The CYC will be the first to benefit from this initiative, receiving a grant to purchase much-needed mixed martial arts (MMA) equipment as part of their programming that maintains a specific focus on at-risk children and youth.
Just as the sport of MMA can be instrumental in the promotion of such important life skills as discipline, respect and teamwork, UFC Community Works® will tie itself to communities and/or organizations that lack opportunity and that can benefit from a helping hand.
“We made a public commitment to give back when we first opened our Canadian office,” said Tom Wright. “The UFC has had such amazing support from all across Canada and we’re proud to introduce this program. UFC Community Works is going to be a catalyst to promoting good works in good communities.”
UFC Community Works® will develop its mandate and reach out to communities and organizations in need, particularly where UFC® events are held. The program can tailor its support to the needs of the community and adapt as priorities evolve. It can affect positive change through a number of means, which include hosting speaker series and MMA training sessions with at-risk youths, donating funds or equipment to a community gym or training centre, building partnerships and/or raising awareness about important social issues.
About the Cabbagetown Youth Centre (CYC)
The Cabbagetown Youth Centre (CYC) was founded in 1972 as the Cabbagetown Boxing Club to provide at-risk youth with positive alternatives through sport and recreation, while encouraging ongoing education. Over the past 37 years, the CYC has expanded to meet the growing needs of the community to provide a complete range of recreational, social and educational & skill development programs for ages ranging from newborns to seniors, while maintaining a specific focus on at-risk children and youth.
CYC’s mandate is to provide barrier-free access to a full range of programs otherwise not available to some of the most marginalized and high-need children, youth and families through the support and creation of sustainable programming to respond to gap in services and combat risk factors. As a result, over the years the CYC has expanded from its original site at 2 Lancaster Avenue by establishing three satellite sites at 650 Parliament Street, 240 Wellesley Street East and 260 Wellesley Street East, in the heart of St. James Town, one of North America’s most densely populated and underserviced communities. CYC also operates programs at Rose Avenue Public School and Winchester Public School.
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Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, and headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev., UFC® produces over 12 UFC live Pay-Per-View events annually around the world. UFC programming is distributed in Canada exclusively on Rogers Sportsnet. UFC content is distributed commercially through Canadastar in Canada. Globally, UFC programming is broadcast in over 145 countries and territories, reaching 354 million homes worldwide, in 19 different languages.
UFC® also boasts a powerful presence online, with UFC.com attracting over 6 million unique visitors per month, while also possessing one of the most powerful social media followings in all of professional sports. To date, UFC has over five million fans on Facebook and nearly 250,000 followers on Twitter. In addition, UFC President Dana White is one of the most accessible and most followed executives in sports with nearly 1.4 million followers on Twitter. On January 22, 2011, UFC continued to set trends in social media, becoming the first major sports league to stream live, broadcast quality action on Facebook.
Ancillary businesses include the best-selling UFC “Undisputed” videogame franchise distributed by THQ, UFC Gym™, UFC Fight Club affinity program, UFC Fan Expo™ festivals, branded apparel, trading cards, articulated action figures and other media including best-selling DVDs and a bimonthly magazine.
UFC® Launches $129,000 Community Initiative
Toronto’s Cabbagetown Youth Centre becomes first to benefit from UFC Community Works® program