Most young professionals (YPs) from across the country are now familiar with motionball. motionball, of course, is a non-profit organization started by Toronto YP Paul Etherington that benefits the Special Olympics Canada Foundation (SOCF) through a series of nationwide sporting and social events, including the motionball galas that we YPs know and love. In fact, most YPs associate the motionball name solely with the annual hot-ticket galas that take place in Toronto and Calgary. They are, after all, some of the best parties of the year. motionball, however, is more than that. A major fundraising component to motionball is its Marathon of Sport series, which is actually the charity’s flagship event that takes place across the country, raising almost as much money as the motionball galas.
Capturing the heart of the motionball charity and the Special Olympics, Marathon of Sport is essentially a day of athletics and team building. This is mixed with networking alongside like-minded young professionals (singles, take note: what better way to meet a potential new significant other?) Teams spend the day making their way through a series of athletic activities, like basketball, beach volleyball, bench ball, soccer, ultimate Frisbee and flag football. The day kicks off bright and early with registration at 7:30am and continues until 4:00pm, with an hour break for lunch at noon. In true Paul Etherington/motionball style, the day would not be complete without an after party.
motionball’s mantra to educate, integrate and celebrate is reflected in its truest form during the day, and perhaps the most rewarding part (along with that overdue workout) is the chance Marathon of Sport offers to interact directly with the athletes that the cause supports. The Special Olympic athletes will be, as always, integrated with the teams, offering participants the chance to make a direct and impactful connection with the charity.
The 2014 countrywide Marathon of Sport series kicks off with the Toronto event, taking place on Saturday, May 24th (no, that’s not the long weekend). Toronto Marathon of Sport Director Damon Sutherland tells us that, among other things, we can expect to see a lot more pro athletes in attendance this year, from the Olympics to the NHL, CFL and TFC, who will participate and act as referees. Knowing Etherington’s ties to the entertainment world, we suspect we will also see a few familiar faces from TV and maybe even the big screen. We can also expect to see teams made up from notable news and morning show media. Oh, and did we mention we’ll bring our game faces with our own team?
Like we saw at motionball’s Toronto and Calgary galas earlier this year, the Marathon of Sport will also feature an interactive Yellow Card campaign station, which will encourage participants to sign up to eliminate the use of the ‘r word’. In addition to awareness of the cause, the Marathon of Sport events are expected to raise some serious funds. The Toronto event generates an average of $200,000 per year. This year’s goal, however, is to raise $250,000 for Special Olympics Canada.
If a day of sport and team building for a good cause sounds better to you than a Saturday of sleeping the day away or running errands, we advise you get your team together now. The goal for the Toronto event is to have 72 teams, with 10 people per team. And don’t worry, you don’t have to be a super star athlete to participate, so your lack of athleticism is no excuse not to show. Not to mention, the playing field isn’t the only place you’ll have to compete. Team registration for the event, for 10 participants, is $3,500, but that is just the ground floor. Marathon of Sport participants are encouraged to raise funds through pledges, and if you raise more than the minimum you will be rewarded with individual and team incentives. Included in your team registration, each player will receive a t-shirt from the national sponsor, Under Armour, a team photo, a light breakfast and lunch.
The Marathon of Sport season starts now:
Marathon of Sport Toronto: May 24, 2014 / The Hangar- 75 Carl Hall Rd Toronto, ON – See more here.
Marathon of Sport Vancouver: June 07, 2014 / EA Sports Field- 4330 Sanderson Way, Burnaby – See more here.
Marathon of Sport Calgary: June 07, 2014 / Webber Academy- 1515 93rd Street, SW Calgary, AB T3H 4A8 – See more here.
Marathon of Sport Montreal: September 06, 2014 / Collège Notre-Dame in Montreal – 3791 Queen-Mary Rd, Montreal, QC – See more here.
#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)
All images by: Patrick Thompson