Word of mouth has lifted KGO Kicks from an idea Dianne Sahadeo had into a year-round, free soccer and meal program for kids in the Kingston-Galloway/Orton Park community. In 2011 when Dianne’s son Joshua was small, the lack of affordable, local children’s activities prompted her to organize weekly soccer games – indoor and outdoor – for children and youth from age 4 to 19, to help them keep active and connected to their neighbours.
Dianne, a full-time audit clerk, was born in Trinidad and immigrated to Canada in 1975 and has lived in the KGO neighbourhood for the past 19 years. She volunteers her free time overseeing the program she founded, and preparing hot and healthy meals alongside other enthusiastic community members at the East Scarborough Storefront kitchen, to serve hungry participants after the games.
“I enjoy helping out. I love seeing the smiles and the appreciation…I notice the positive changes in the kids, how they’ve grown up. Their behaviour improves, their structure is better.”
Dianne’s caring community spirit has also extended to volunteering at the 2015 Pan Am & Parapan American Games, and the 2017 North American Indigenous Games.