I was 13 years old when I was introduced to Dexter John and his organization.

At that young age, I was unaware of the impact Mr. John would have on my future.

His organization, which was presented to us as a “simple” Youth Centre, ended up being a development centre for kids and young adults.

DJ Sports kept me out of trouble and on a successful path by providing access to tutors, coaches and trainers who used positive reinforcement to develop young kids into responsible adults.

It is a necessity to have his centre alive as it inspires today’s youth to be ambitious and to reach their full potential.
- Marc D. Polynice

My name is Sid-Ali Kadri and I was 15 when I registered as a youth member at the downtown YMCA Youth Centre in 1996.

A few months before that, I was a new immigrant in Canada and I didn’t have any friends.

I was spending my afternoons alone on basketball courts practicing.

I remember that one day, by chance, I met a friend of mine from Algeria, at Sauvé subway station, who took me to the YMCA Youth Centre and introduced me to his friends and Dexter John, who was the coordinator of the Youth Centre at that time.

The Youth Centre was the place where I spent most of the time with my friends, but it’s
only today that I realised how much that place helped me grow and develop social and
athletic skills. Back then, Dexter was the Coordinator and the youth worker of the
Centre. He cared a lot for us and he used to organise many activities and outings that
were very educational and beneficial to our growth.

Being a member of the Youth Centre allowed me to make new friends, improve my
basketball skills, have a safe place where I could hang round and have fun with other
members. Also, it allowed me to improve my English as well as develop a sense of
responsibilities. Dexter was a role model to us because he was a good basketball
coach whom we admired and respected. He thought us how to become leaders.
The Youth Centre had a huge impact on me during my teenage years, and today I am
still grateful for all I learned.