YAAACE recognizes that the early years are significant in impacting holistic development and life trajectories. Many racialized families and those from lower socio-economic status cannot afford to enrol their children in structured extracurricular programs. YAAACE’s Grassroots provides quality programs at rates that are affordable and accessible for the members of the community. The grassroots developmental program, Small Ball D League, serves children as young as 4 years old and helps them develop transferable skills on the basketball court and in the classroom led by certified coaches and trainers.
Numerous studies have indicated that the number one reason why athletes leave sports and stop participating in it is because it is no longer fun or affordable. YAAACE prioritizes athlete safety and high-intensity training as part of its elite programs at a cost that is affordable. Athletes work with a team of caring adults including certified coaches, trainers, and Ontario Certified Teachers to meet their educational and post-secondary goals.
YAAACE’s Health and Wellness strategy is a national initiative that engages families from marginalized, racialized, and under-resourced communities about their health needs from a social determinant of health perspective. YAAACE works with multiple stakeholders to identify gaps in institutions offering healthcare and support services. YAAACE advocates for institutional changes in policy and practices so they are more equitable to the needs of families from equity-deserving groups.