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Within all of our programs, our goal is to use sport as a tool to help youth develop valuable life skills that will take them places beyond the court, and we do this very intentionally.

Alexandra Scardamaglia

Coordinator, Sport Programming

MLSE LaunchPad

× The interview with Alexandra Scardamaglia was conducted via a typed conversation. Editing changes were made to make it easier to read while maintaining the voice of the interview.

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1Tell us about your role as Coordinator, Sport Programming for MLSE LaunchPad. What does a typical day look like for you?

As a Coordinator, Sport Programming with MLSE LaunchPad, my job is often fun and every day can look very different! I’m grateful that what I do for work, doesn’t always feel like work.

Within my role, I help oversee all the programming that we run in our space (physically, and now virtually). We run programming throughout the year in cycles, and both during the day and evening.

We have proprietary programs that my team develops and executes, but we also run many programs in collaboration with community and corporate partners, in which my team works closely with our internal partnership team to develop and execute.

Our programs range from ball hockey, boxing and futsal, to sport & STEM, basketball leagues and summer camps – the time of year determines what programs we are running.

We program under four main pillars – Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Ready for School & Ready for Work.

There is really something for everyone. One thing remains consistent among all of our programs – life skills. Within all of our programs, our goal is to use sport as a tool to help youth develop valuable life skills that will take them places beyond the court and we do this very intentionally.

While most of us know we can learn things like teamwork and communication from playing sports, we integrate explicit conversations, discussions and activities into our programs to further their understanding of how they can take these skills and apply them in other areas of their life such as school, work or their personal life.

Our coaching team plays the largest role in bringing these programs to life, and they are really the secret sauce to what makes LaunchPad the special place that it is.

Another large part of my role is overseeing and managing our roster of coaches, youth mentors and program supervisors. Not only do they bring these programs to life on court (and over zoom), they often have a hand in developing the programs themselves.

Having their voices included in what we do is key to running a successful program – they know our members best so they know what may or may not work when planning a program.

As I mentioned earlier, no day is really the same, but it usually involves aspects of all of the above - developing programs, working with our internal teams, working with partners, managing staff etc.

2As Coordinator of Sport Programming, what are some of the skills you rely on daily to be successful in your role?

  • Making sure your heart is behind your work – if you care, you’ll be successful.
  • Time and project management – there’s always a lot on the go at Launchpad!
  • Managing staff – being able to work with different people and lead in a way that empowers everyone you interact with.
  • Organization comes in handy when there’s lots on the go!
  • Working well with others – all of our programs are collaborative so being able to work well with colleagues as well as staff at our partner organizations.

3Tell us about your favourite sport program or initiative that you have facilitated for youth while working for MLSE Launchpad.

My favourite would probably have to be one that I am currently coordinating – our Leader In Training (LIT) program!

LIT is an intensive work readiness program where we hire 20 high school students over the summer to help them develop both personally and professionally while giving them practical work experience of coaching our programs.

Working with this age group is incredibly special – they are such brilliant individuals, and to see them develop over the course of the summer is something special.

It’s my first summer coordinating this program and we’re only a week and a half in, but it’s already one of my favourites!

4How important is your work helping youth who are facing barriers use sport to reach their potential? Tell us about what it means to you to be able to do this day in and day out.

Our youth are our future. It’s as simple as that.

To be able to have a positive impact on the next generation is a privilege I don’t take lightly.

We’ve exposed many ugly sides of the world over the last year and a half and the work we do keeps me hopeful that our future is in good hands.

We have so much to learn from our youth and we need to keep giving them a platform for their voices to be heard. Sport gives us a tool to do just that.

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5At MLSE LaunchPad, you’re often collaborating with many different organizations to meet your goals and provide various programs for youth. Can you speak on the importance of good collaboration in the sport industry?

When we collaborate, everyone wins.

We recognize that we aren’t experts in everything and that we can’t do everything (as much as we wish we could!).

Collaboration allows everyone involved to shine in what we are good at.

For example, we are experts in sport but not STEM concepts, so we worked with a science organization to develop our Sport & STEM program and it has ended up being one of our most successful and unique programs that we offer.

I would say this concept applies for all areas of the sport industry.

Jaelyn Terrion Jaelyn's Final Thoughts

Alexandra Scardamaglia, MLSE LaunchPad's Coordinator of Sport Programming, is an extremely passionate individual in the sport industry. Her dedication to enriching the lives of youth through various sport programs is inspiring, to say the least. She discussed the importance of investing in our youth in order to better the world that we're leaving for the next generations, and the programs at MLSE LaunchPad are designed to do just that. Alex also emphasized the importance of putting your heart into everything that you work for. Between various sporting programs and those aimed at developing other important life skills, the hard work that Alexandra dedicates to creating and facilitating these programs translates to a better life for so many.

Connect With Alexandra Scardamaglia



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