Youth Programs

  • Almost every Legion branch is involved in youth programs including sponsorship of local teams, cadet corps, scout troops, youth leadership, etc.—spending exceeds $3.3 million and over 283,000 volunteer hours
  • Remembrance
    • The message to our youth is that our freedoms came with a price
    • Annual Poster and Literary Contest, pilgrimages to foreign battlefields/cemeteries and Remembrance ceremonies all help perpetuate this message of Remembrance
  • Education
    • Legion and its branches support the Terry Fox Centre "Encounters with Canada" assembling 100 students per week, for 30 weeks, for studies on Canada
    • Provincial Commands and branches also provide scholarships and bursaries for students as well as funds for learning aids for the disabled
  • Leadership
    • Leadership, fitness and patriotism are promoted through the cadet movement and scout and guiding organizations with the educational programs (above), public speaking contests and the Legion Medal of Excellence to honour outstanding cadets
    • Legion Biathlon (cross-country skiing and marksmanship) conducted with Biathlon Canada
  • Sport
    • Legion first involved in community service in the 1940 with the "Foster Fathers" program for boys left fatherless by the Second World War—learning that sports was an effective way to develop leadership
    • 1956—Legion started supporting national sports program (The Canadian Olympic Training Plan) conducted by Ontario Legion Hydro Branch 277 in Toronto
    • 1957—Legion takes on financial support and plan later becomes Legion National Track and Field Program for 12 to 17 year-olds
    • Program is highlighted by the Legion National Track and Field Championships and training sessions with 400 youth, coaches, chaperones, volunteers and professionals from Athletics Canada in week-long event held across Canada, since 1976
    • Over 500 branches participate as athletes progress from local, through provincial and on to national event with over 300 athletes between 12 and 17 years of age
    • Many of these youth go on to compete and win at Olympic and World Championships—one-third of Canadian Track and Field athletes, and all of the medal winners, at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics were alumni of Legion Program
    • Other participating Canadian athletes include Wayne Gretzky, Robert Esmie and Angela Bailey. View list of more athletes.
    • Program is designed to provide training, opportunity to travel, develop citizenry and to foster a sense of personal and civic pride
    • 1985—Legion Program was expanded to include coaches' qualifying courses with the assistance of Athletics Canada and the Canadian Association of Coaches
    • Estimated Legion commitment to track and Field is over $2 million annually

Lest we forget...Lest we forget

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