A Red Deer resident has been recognized for his work with promoting sports for peace and development.
Adam Goodwin, 29, will be featured in the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation’s 2019 Top 30 Under 30 Magazine: The Gender Equality Edition.
The annual Top 30 Under 30 Magazine showcases the efforts of 30 outstanding Alberta youth working to make the world a more just, fair and sustainable place for all.
Goodwin was nominated for this investment in promoting sports for peace and development. He is particularly passionate about getting females into sport.
Recently, he wrapped up a long-term project supporting a boxing program for girls from lower income homes. It’s an Edmonton inner city initiative he’s been working with since 2015. Goodwin was involved in both developing and running the program as well.
“A colleague came up with the idea and then we figured out how to implement it,” he explained. “I’ve kind of taken a step back but we’ve been trying to find ways to build capacity with it and grow it, because it’s a really popular initiative.”
Another organization he’s been working with, sport4one, involves folks utilizing sports that have a connection to social development.
“Our overall goal is to use it, for example, to help get kids out of experiencing poverty,” he said, adding that participants also find help to develop tools, skills and connections to become more socially mobile.
“Through sport4one, I am working on gender equity, in and through sport,” he said. “Increasing participation in recreation and sport has a positive health impact for participants. Positive health can play a role in success in education and in the job market.”
Meanwhile, Goodwin, who works for the City of Red Deer and Red Deer College, learned of his nomination late last month. He’s long had a heart for working with those struggling to get by, in danger of homelessness or who find themselves with no shelter at all.
“During university I worked for a food bank so it’s always kind of been a part of my life.
“My family has also always been into volunteering and supporting people in the community,” he explained, adding he’s also volunteered for shelters for a long time as well.
Giving back has always been front and centre.
“I’ve always been really lucky. I’ve had opportunities to do basically whatever I want in my life. Those were the circumstances I grew up in. That’s why I’ve focused, for example, on the youth boxing programs for young girls and working with younger kids to hopefully give them a few extra opportunities they might otherwise not have, and the best chances to do whatever they want to do.
“Research shows that with youth from lower income households, over their lives it can be really difficult to get out of those circumstances. So I believe (in) any opportunity I can give to someone else that can maybe help them build a relationship with someone or that gives them a skill they can use during an interview, or giving them food during a sports program.”
Goodwin said it’s terrific to see how disadvantaged youth change through the course of the programs as well.
Their confidence levels flourish, and it’s heartening to see them connect with senior leaders from diverse backgrounds who can have such a positive and encouraging influence as well.
“For example, we might have a business woman who does boxing at night outside of work. (The youth) may have never thought of going into the business world or something like that, so it gives them confidence and a broader view on the possibilities in their own lives,” he said.
The young people tend to also develop stronger connections with each other in what is a safe environment where they can get active and have fun, too.
Meanwhile, the magazine, now in its eighth year, is produced by the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation (ACGC) as part of International Development Week celebrations (Feb. 3rd – 9th).
The edition will be released during an Edmonton launch Feb. 7th.
Check out www.acgc.ca.