The idea of Change Through Sport was conceived when the coaches for Toronto Blind Tennis and Rexdale Volleyball decided to join forces and amalgamate under a single organization with the vision of creating lasting impact and long-term capacity in both communities. We are an assembly of your everyday people who enjoy playing sports and making the world a better place. We believe that when sport is used appropriately, it can unite people, lower barriers to social participation, and increase development opportunities for everyone involved.
At the heart of our work, we utilize sports to build-up the capabilities and capacities of each person be it a participant, volunteer, or founding member! We do this by:
lowering barriers to create equitable opportunities;
engaging and promoting active and healthy lifestyles;
fostering healthy, diverse, and inclusive relationships;
inspiring and creating new action and modes of thinking;
increasing communal ownership and leadership opportunities.
We value collaboration, learning, honesty, experimentation, hard work, improvement, and having fun! By no means is our model perfect. We are continuously learning and reiterating our work to address the changing needs of our communities. Don’t be surprised when we attempt something outrageous!
Jessica Poon, Chairperson and Founding Member of Change Through Sport
Jessica is a graduate of the University of Toronto Bachelor of Commerce Program. As a management consultant for 7 years, she worked with clients across many industries on large-scale process, organization and technology change programs. She is currently a Senior Strategy Manager at TELUS supporting management and delivery for multi-year technology programs. In addition to her work at TELUS, she has also supported numerous other volunteer-based organizations, including Homeless Connect Toronto and North York Community House. She is a firm believer in the power of sport and community to change lives and hopes to use her management and volunteer experiences to support Change Through Sport’s important work.
Edmundi Li, Treasurer and Founding Member of Change Through Sport
Ed is a graduate of the University of Waterloo Accounting and Financial Management Program and currently a Senior Manager, Enterprise Process Excellence, at Toronto Dominion Bank.
Having participated in international relief efforts in Cambodia, Japan, and Thailand, he has worked alongside people from diverse backgrounds and witnessed the collective power born out of a common cause. Besides his international involvement, Ed is also a staunch advocate for local volunteerism. It is a passion that has led him to volunteer at the Ontario Science Centre Camps, Habitat for Humanity, and Toronto Blind Tennis. With his strategic approach to challenges and ‘roll-up your sleeve’ attitude, as Treasurer and member of the Board of Directors, he will ensure that Change Through Sport stays true to its mission and delivers as promised.
Esther Fung, Secretary and Founding Member of Change Through Sport
Growing up, Esther has always been interested in new experiences and challenges, including sports, such as volleyball, swimming, softball, try-triathlon, etc. Alas, she came to terms with her lack of athleticism but along the way she found her passion for working with children and youth. This brought her to community organizations such as UrbanPromise, Samaritan’s Purse, Blind Tennis, and Flow Ministries. She believes that empowering children and youth will result in positive changes in their communities. She also witnessed how sports can be used as a vessel to create change and impact communities as well as connecting people regardless of their walks of life.
While her career has taken another route, graduating from the University of Waterloo with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Accounting and Financial Management, and is a CPA-CA and CMA. She currently works in the public sector, and she remains firmly rooted in youth and community outreach programs. She is committed to building up communities, future leaders, and athletes through Change Through Sport!
Fei Chan, Founder of Rexdale Volleyball and Founding Member of Change Through Sport
Fei has taught for 16 years with the Toronto District School Board and coached volleyball for 14 of those years. He has always loved sports, not only for the game but for what the game can teach. He understands the power of sports and its ability to teach life lessons and shape attitudes. Teamwork, focus, discipline and “a never give up” attitude are some of the life lessons and attitudes that he teaches and role-models through sport.
As a teacher, he has witnessed firsthand the inequities that his students face. Despite the talent in Rexdale, there were very few opportunities for additional training outside of school programs. Hence, he created Rexdale Volleyball as a way of “leveling the playing field”.
Jamal Senior, Program Director of Rexdale Volleyball and Founding Member of Change Through Sport
Jamal is a community champion and role-model in the Rexdale community. He has represented and served with the United Way, Urban Promise, and Microskills. He has been awarded by the city of Toronto’s Youth Leadership Award, BBPA’s Harry Jerome Award, Duke of Edinburgh’s Silver Award, and Spider Jones Leadership Award.
As an alumnus of the Rexdale ball program, he understands how sports can be utilized to unlock potential and opportunities. He dreams of seeing athletes and community members achieving their dreams despite their backgrounds and lack of financial support. As a member of Change Through Sport, he hopes to use sports as a way to lift up other individuals and the community in the face of discrimination and oppressive structures.
Jerome Chan, Program Director of Toronto Blind Tennis and Founding Member of Change Through Sport
Jerome is a full-time teacher and a part-time outdoorsman who enjoys tackling new challenges. If he is not teaching science, you might find him playing sports or enjoying the great outdoors.
For over 10 years, Jerome has coached the volleyball and badminton teams. He has volunteered and worked as part of the Jane/Finch Community Tennis Association, as well as volunteered to support the blind tennis community. Through sport, Jerome has developed various life skills and relationships in the community. He is a firm believer that sport bridges gaps in our community and brings people together. Change Through Sport is an organization that builds capacity in our communities and promotes a healthier society. For this important reason, Jerome is a part of this endeavor.
Alan Ma, Founder of Toronto Blind Tennis and Founding Member of Change Through Sport
Alan is a community organizer in the field of sports for development for the past 15 years. As a certified teacher and coach, he has built programs, coached, and worked with youth and adults in Jane/Finch, Rexdale, and Richmond Hill in Ontario; Little Burgundy, and Kahnawake Mohawk Territory in Quebec; and supported over 60 communities across Canada. He introduced the adapted sport of blind tennis to the visually impaired communities in Toronto to enable individuals with vision loss to access a sport he enjoys.
As a founding member of Toronto Blind Tennis and Change Through Sport, Alan is involved in every aspect of the organization. He envisions Change Through Sport being a catalyst for positive change - breaking down barriers - to allow members from diverse backgrounds to participate in Canadian society.