Universal Youth Foundation

The Toronto Azzurri Soccer Club is proud to announce a strategic partnership with the “For Kicks Organization” and the Universal Youth Foundation. The photo at the left shows Sargent Steve Hicks with Universal Youth Chairman Mario Cortellucci to the left and Toronto Azzurri President Bob Iarusci to the right of Sargent Hicks.

Press conference Letter

The Toronto Azzurri Soccer Club is pleased to announce a strategic partnership with the “For Kicks Organization” and the Universal Youth Foundation.

For almost 40 years, the Toronto Azzurri Soccer Club has buil;t a reputation of developing top teams, top players and top coaches.  In 2008 our under 16 team represented Ontario in the Nationals and our technical director, Carmine Isacco led York University to it’s first national CIS title in 21 years.

Our club realizes that successful programs are a result of a strong club vision and a vibrant membership.  Today, our base membership in our Summer Youth Development Program at York University and the Azzurri Village features over 800 boys and girls ages 4 – 14 years.

Our motto “to teach soccer and build character” also reaches out to every child in our immediate community. Over the past three years, the Toronto Azzurri and the For Kicks Organization under the supervision of Sergeant Steve Hicks of 31 division has allowed many young children from challenged parents in our neighborhood to build character through the great game of soccer.

It is fitting therefore that the Universal Youth Foundation led by Mario Cortellucci has recognized our efforts and has agreed to support this worthwhile initiative.  The Universal Youth Foundation is committed to providing educational assistance to children and youth in need throughout the world by funding schools, teachers and leaders in the communities witrh a goal of creating and inspriring those that are assisted a chance for a better life under better conditions and hopefully become leaders of their community.

On behalf of the Azzurri organization, I am very excited about working with Steve Hicks and Mario Cortellucci to initiate many sports, recreational and educational events that will directly contribute to our common cause.

MARIO CORTELLUCCI SPEECH – December 1, 2008

Distinguished Members of the Media, members of the Board of the Universal Youth Foundation and Toronto Azzurri, players, friends Ladies and Gentlemen, I am proud of to be here to day to outline and recognize the success of theprogram “For Kicks” organized by Sergeant Steve Hicks of the Toronto Police 31st Division in cooperation with the Toronto Azzurri and sponsored by the Universal Youth Foundation.

Read MoreThe Universal Youth Foundation has made significant difference in the lives of some children less fortunate than ours. While past involvements were focused on projects away from home, due to the overwhelming needs of places such as Zambia and Tanzania, we did not forget the needs of local children and their communities here in Canada.  I am pleased to advise that in 2008 we sponsored and funded a program known as “North of 50 Cops and Kids”. This  project carried out under the guidance of two officers of the Ontario Provincial Police was designed to promote positive healthy interactions between youth at risk in Aboriginal Communities. The project, in addition to enhance police and youth relationship was to help aboriginal Youths to make future positive choices by introducing them to constructive healthy activities combined with life style choices that would have a lasting effect in assisting the Youths with future life opportunities and built/develop leadership qualities.
The second project, sponsored locally, in 2008 is the project we are addressing today “For Kicks”. This project organized by Sergeant Steve Hicks of the Toronto Police 31st Division in cooperation with the Toronto Azzurri was aimed at assisting youngsters in the Jane & Finch area to overcome the challenges of the neighborhood and with the assistance of professionals, to become disciplined in the approach to sport and education. The activities under the program were aimed at enhancing the youngsters approach to life choices and to reduce their exposure to regretful challenges while developing their personal and leadership skills. I believe the project has excellent merits and above all I wish to acknowledge the tremendous work and the sacrifices that Sergeant Steve Hicks has endured in organizing and directing the “For Kicks” program. Thanks to his efforts and that of his associates, including many friends and members of the Police Board at 31 Division and of course the staff of the Toronto Azzurri and with the support of the Universal Youth Foundation over 2000 youngsters have benefitted from the “For Kicks” Program. Today we have with us 14 representatives of the youngsters that have attended the program. All 14 of them have shown exemplary discipline, progress and excellent attitude. They need to be recognized and applauded and I am sure that with their determination and continuing proper care and direction, they will develop into the Leaders we all expect them to become. Best wishes to all of them.
Thank you again for your presence to this press conference.