Reach Up! is a collaborative initiative between Lakehead University Athletics and Wasaya Airways to provide on-site instruction in sport-specific coaching and general leadership strategies for youth in Northern Ontario First Nations communities serviced by Wasaya Airways. Program visits feature discussion between Lakehead coaches and community coaches/leaders on how to grow and sustain interest in sport as well as sport-specific training. In addition, Lakehead athletes meet with local youth to discuss peer leadership, life goals, and to share their personal experiences. Lakehead University Athletics and Wasaya Airways believe in the power of sport to change lives and want to establish a sustainable program that will not only create a legacy of activity in Northern communities, but also encourage Aboriginal youth to consider the benefits of postsecondary education for themselves and their communities.
The Reach Up! program has found that it is very challenging for communities to find the financial recourses for the program as the largest cost is travel to and from these communities. This crowdfunding page would allow communities who do not have the financial resources the opportunity to participate in a unique program that not only assists children, youth and community leaders with sport-specific training and leadership development, but also the opportunity for varsity athletes to become role models for children and youth to consider the benefits of post-secondary education. This relationship would continue to grow as community leaders and coaches would be able to stay in contact with Lakehead University coaches to assist in the building of their programs, and provide sport-specific coaching.