It can be very expensive trying to place children in local sports and arts programs. In some cases, it could cost thousands of dollars. But a Belleville couple has created an organization to help families.
No Limits is an organization that allows parents to enroll their children in sports at a lower cost. Brenda and Peter Gabriel founded it in 2012, and in November 2014 it became a non-profit organization. Together the two have over 20 years of volunteer experience. They founded No Limits when their two daughters played competitive sports growing up. They realized how costly it could be and wanted to be able to provide other local families to give their kids the same opportunities.
"We wanted to be able to give youth more opportunities to discover themselves - to be able to build self-confidence and see a brighter future without the parents having to worry about breaking the bank," Brenda Gabriel said.
Their eldest daughter, Justine Gabriel, a Belleville native, danced competitively growing up. Competitive dance is when a group of dancers performs a variety of dance styles in front of a group of judges. And Justine's younger sister, Janaia, played competitive basketball.
The organization first started offering dance lessons then quickly grew to include basketball, running, and flag football. Because the organization is non-profit, they are always looking for sponsors to donate to help support the organization as well as by opening an online store to sell merchandise.
Those interested in volunteering and getting involved with No Limits can do so by signing up on their website to see what events are upcoming that they may be interested in.
Since Grade 3, Victoria Maietta's life has revolved around basketball.
"I've been playing basketball my whole life. It's my love," said Maietta. "So anytime I get an opportunity I love to volunteer and teach others, especially kids."
She explained how when she was growing up her parents were both busy with work, so she never got to play as much. She said when opportunities like playing in house league teams came up, she jumped at the chance to play. And now that she's older she loves giving other kids that opportunity as well.
Last year she was given a chance to give back and share her love of basketball with local youth.
Maietta began volunteering with No Limits helping to coach kids and teens in the Quinte area in basketball.
"I think it's nice to get out the in the community," she said. "Now I see these kids out in public, and they get so excited to see me. It makes me so happy because I know I'm making a difference in these kids lives. I love building relationships with the kids and watching them grow."
Maietta started volunteering to help coach the basketball teams last fall.
She explained each week she was responsible for planning drills, activities and lessons for the age group she was working with that week.
"Every week we would have one hour of practice and then small scrimmages. But the very last night we had a big tournament," she explained."All the teams played against each other, and my teams won, so that was awesome."
The season began in October and finished mid-March.
She said as enjoyable as it was with anything there were some difficult moments.
"From the beginning of the season how they treated me to the end was crazy," Marietta explained. "At the beginning especially all the little boys didn't like trying to listen to a girl teach you how to play basketball. You could tell they didn't want anything to do with me. The other coach was a boy, so they had no problem listening to him. But by the end of the season, it was the complete opposite."
Marietta explained that she thinks a hero is someone who goes out of their way to help someone else. They give up their time or something else in their life to help others.