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Health STAR

Affordable Recreation for Lower-Income Families

Strong communities develop strong kids and families. At the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka, we believe every child should have the chance to participate.

Through Simcoe County’s Social and Community Investment Fund, the Health STAR program receives 100% municipal funding to deliver sport and recreation opportunities for low-income families.  In addition to YMCA memberships and camps, children and youth have access to a range of activities, including, dance, soccer, hockey, skating, cheerleading, gymnastics and swimming to name a few. Aside from exposure to healthy lifestyles habits, children have the opportunity to develop in character and improve self esteem, build transferable skills as well as engage and be supported by their larger community.

Leadership and role modeling by way of volunteers, coaches, instructors, camp counselors and support staff, provide an invaluable contribution to potentially increase protective factors generated through sport that can impact a lifetime.  Working in collaboration with community partners, Health STAR aims to build brighter futures for children who otherwise would not have the opportunity to participate.

If you are interested in Health STAR funding please complete the Health STAR Application as outlined or contact our Project Coordinator for further information.

Cathy Mills,
Project Coordinator
705-726-6421 ext. 429

English Application Form

Health Star

English Application Form

French Application Form

Health Star

French Application Form

Frequently Asked Questions

What can my child play?
In addition to YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka health, fitness & aquatics memberships and camp programs, participants have access to a range of activities outside of the YMCA, including, dance, soccer, hockey, skating, cheerleading, gymnastics and swimming to name a few.

Where can I apply for the funds?
Funding applications can be found on the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka website for the Health STAR or Jump Start program here or by email or at any of our YMCA Membership Service desks.

Where do I register my child?
Once you are approved for funding, your family may then complete registration forms with the registrar of the organization your child will be participating with.

Who will pay for my child to play?
Your funded portion will be paid direct to the sport organization offering the activity. Any balances owed should be paid by your family at the time you complete your registration with the organization.

Why should my child play?
Aside from exposure to healthy lifestyle habits, children have the opportunity to develop in character and improve self-esteem, build transferable skills as well as engage and be supported by their larger community.

Strengthsquest - self assessment

• Identify your top 5 talents
• Learn the power behind your talents and how to intentionally apply them daily
• The benefits and power of a strengths based approach
• The tools to begin your StrengthsQuest journey and establish a strengths based culture

Leadership Communication

• Identify your communication style
• Gain awareness about the impact you have on others based on how you communicate
• Learn techniques and the awareness needed to be a truly great communicator

Transformational Leadership

• Defining leadership throughout the ages
• Learn to differentiate between trending concepts on leadership to those that are proven, relevant and applicable today
• Learn to identify what leadership styles have influenced you and what leadership style and the characteristics you would most like to exemplify. What form of leadership is your team or organization led by? Which style would have the most impact?

Strategic Planning

• Why is it important?
• How does one get started?
• What makes a good strategic plan? – learn the essentials

Team Effectiveness - Stages of Development

• Be provided with the tools needed to assess at what level of performance your team is working at
• Learn to kick start and transition your team to one that is highly performing

Mindfulness - Group Approach

• Strategies, techniques & its importance towards attaining a work/life balance

Strengthsquest - Motivation and Engagement

• Learn to manage your talents and those of your team as an interactive process
• You will be able to assess if you are in the right role and determine if managing people is the right fit for you? Are you developing or damaging your teams?

Managing Performance

• Tried and true tools perfect for staff evaluations
• You will be able to differentiate between critical behaviour needing intervention versus behaviour that can be coached
• You will be provided with the tools on how to address staff behaviour & coach your teams


• Learn the science, physiological & psychological responses that impact decision making and personal interaction
• You will be able to look at the work environment through a different lens noting its impact on potential employee performance and learning the means to intervene and influence for better results

Emotional Intelligence and Leadership Resiliency

• Provides additional insights on how you are perceived and how that awareness can lead to greater impact as a leader

Change Management

• Examines the impact change has throughout an organization and provides you with the tools and understanding of how to navigate through change with the least collateral & cultural damage

Conflict Resolution

• Learn the tools needed to be able to find the common ground needed to move beyond an impasse

The Art of Persuasion

• Realize the weight of your words and actions and how to put that knowledge to the best use
• Where do you fit within the political milieu?

Strengthsquest - followership and leadership

• Move beyond what your individual talents contribute to a team and start to learn to intentionally aim & maximize the talents of others
• With this understanding you will be able to address and provide what your team members need from you as their leader

Principled-Centre Leadership

• You will learn to appreciate and consider the weight of responsibility that comes as you evolve as a leader
• You will examine ethical dilemmas and the means to address them, as well as the consequences those decisions may have

Philanthropic Leadership

• Learn a strategic approach to philanthropic visioning for your organization. As the funding landscape changes so too must our approach to philanthropy
• You will examine your readiness to adapt to these changes and how to instill a framework and culture of philanthropy that can be sustained for the long term

Board Governance

• Learn the importance of Governance and the essential role it plays as part of any organization
• Learn to assess at what stage of Governance your board operates at and how to move their level of engagement should your organization be ready for the shift
• You will be given the tools to fully understand & implement best practices of governance into your organization

Collaboration and Strategic Partnerships

• You will be provided with the tools in order to assess the readiness of your organization and your board to collaborate or partner with another organization
• We will discuss and examine what governing practices need to be in place in order for collaboration to not only occur but also succeed

Unconscious Bias

• Everyone is biased. With that understanding and acceptance you will learn how to make decisions that acknowledges the role bias can often play within that process
• You will discuss best practices and be provided with the tools needed to implement them

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