Transcript: Sports and the City | Nov 18, 2021

Nam Kiwanuka wears a navy blue jacket over a black shirt. She wears her curly brown hair loose. Behind her right shoulder, a lower case red ‘a.’ appears beside the text “The agenda with Steve Paikin.” Text beneath Nam reads “Nam Kiwanuka. @namshine @theagenda” “a. Sports and the City”

Nam says, THAT GAME OF PICK-UP
BASKETBALL OR BALL HOCKEY MAY
SEEM LIKE JUST A BIT OF FUN AND
EXERCISE. IN FACT, IT HAS THE POTENTIAL
TO DO MUCH MORE -- FOR THOSE TAKING
PART AND FOR THE WIDER COMMUNITY,
ACCORDING TO A NEW BOOK BY PERRY KING.

HE IS A JOURNALIST AND NOW AUTHOR OF,
"REBOUND: SPORTS, COMMUNITY, AND THE
INCLUSIVE CITY."

Perry King’s book leans against a white brick wall. Text on the Cover reads “Rebound: Sports, Community and the Inclusive City.”

Nam says, AND WE'RE PLEASED IT BRINGS
PERRY KING TO OUR STUDIO TONIGHT.
NICE TO MEET YOU, PERRY.

Perry smiles. He wears a navy blue suit over a white shirt and a blue and pink floral tie. Text beneath Perry reads “a. Sports and the City.”

Perry King says, NAM, IT'S REALLY
NICE TO BE WITH YOU IN THE STUDIO.
HOW ARE YOU DOING?

Nam says, I'M GREAT.
CONGRATULATIONS ON THIS BOOK.
WE HAVE A LOT TO GET INTO.

BUT BEFORE WE BEGIN, I WANT TO
READ SOMETHING THAT YOU WROTE IN
THE BOOK:

An excerpt of Perry’s book appears beside the cover of his book. The text reads “The Sights and Sounds of Sports.” “Head into any gym—whether Masaryk-Cowan or the school court at Oakwood Collegiate, or baseball diamonds at Leaside Park, the cricket pitches at Eglington Flats—and you’ll see it.

Pick a place, in the Greater Toronto Area that evokes memories: the time you played pickup basketball at the courts at Dufferin Grove Park, or that time you sat to watch kids, maybe even your own kid, play pickup hockey at Ted Reeve Community Arena. Think of each and every road run, either for charity or for your own health and well-being. The sights and sounds are unforgettable.

The dribbles, the yelling and hollering, the ringing hollow of aluminum bats and the hockey pucks; the smell of sunflower seeds and hockey sweat; the sheer joy on children’s faces, the frustration of grown men wallowing in defeat; incredible dives for Frisbees and rugby touches.

At the best of times, sport—the act of organizing and playing with others—is the lifeblood of a place. -Perry King, “Rebound” (Twenty twenty-one).”

Nam says, I LOVE THAT PASSAGE.

Perry says, WONDERFUL.

Nam says HOW IS SPORT THE
LIFEBLOOD OF A PLACE?

Text beneath Perry reads, “Perry King. Author. ‘Rebound.’” “a. Sports and the City. Why Do They Matter?”

Perry says, YOU KNOW, I THINK IT'S
JUST REFLECTIVE OF ANY PLACE.

AND I KNOW THAT THE BOOK WRITES
ABOUT TORONTO AD NAUSEAM AND THE
GTA AD NAUSEUM, BUT I REALLY
THINK IT COULD APPLY ANYWHERE,
ANYWHERE IN NORTH AMERICA,
ANYWHERE IN AMERICA. IT'S A
REFLECTION OF THE PEOPLE
THAT LIVE THERE.

Nam says, WHY DOES SPORT MATTER?

Text beneath Perry reads, “Perry King. Author. ‘Rebound.’” “a. Sports and the City. Why Do They Matter?”

Perry says, SPORT MATTERS BECAUSE
PEOPLE MATTER.

SPORTS ARE A MATTER OF PEOPLE
COMING TOGETHER AND GALVANIZING
TOGETHER TO CREATE SOMETHING.
IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT PLAYING SOMETHING.

IT'S ABOUT HOW, FOR EXAMPLE, THE
TIBETAN COMMUNITY CAN COME
TOGETHER IN A COMMUNITY AND
ORGANIZE A TOURNAMENT BECAUSE
THEY KNOW THAT THEIR KIDS ARE
PLAYING BASKETBALL AND THEY CAN
HAVE A BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
WITHIN THEIR FACILITIES AND THEY
KNOW THAT THEY CAN GET HUNDREDS,
MAYBE EVEN THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE
IN ONE PLACE IN ORDER TO TALK
ABOUT DIFFERENT IDEAS, NOT EVEN
JUST ABOUT THE SPORT ITSELF, BUT
HOW AUNTIE IS DOING OR ABOUT,
OH, WHAT ABOUT THAT SIGNAGE
ABOVE THAT STORE?

IT'S A PLACE WHERE YOU CAN HAVE
REALLY GOOD, DIVERSE CONVERSATIONS.

Nam says, EVEN THE PLACES THAT I
MENTIONED THAT, YOU KNOW, THE
BASEBALL DIAMOND AT LEASIDE PARK.

IT FEELS AS IF THOSE PLACES, I
FEEL WE KIND OF TAKE THESE
PLACES FOR GRANTED. MAYBE
WE DON'T. THEY'RE IN THE
COMMUNITY. BUT THEY SEEM
TO BE JUST MORE THAN BUILDINGS,
MORE THAN PARKS.

WHAT ARE THESE PLACES TO OUR
CITIES, OUR COMMUNITIES?

Text beneath Perry reads, “Perry King. Author. ‘Rebound.’” “a. Sports and the City. Why Do They Matter?”

Perry says, THEY'RE A REFLECTION
OF OUR IDEAS. THEY'RE A REFLECTION
OF PLANNING OVER MANY YEARS.

YOU KNOW, GOVERNMENTS TAKE THESE
THINGS INTO CONSIDERATION.

THEY HAVE MASTER PLANS THAT
OUTLAY DECADES OVER DECADES OF
IDEAS OF HOW TO SHAPE THE LAND,
HOW TO ACTUALLY PUT SOMETHING IN
THE GROUND AND BUILD IT, WHETHER
IT'S A RINK OR A COMMUNITY CENTRE
OR A GYM.

IT'S ALSO A REFLECTION OF WHAT
PEOPLE WOULD LIKE TO HAVE.

ONE OF MY FAVOURITE STORIES
WITHIN "REBOUND" IS ABOUT THE GO
GREEN YOUTH CENTRE.

Text beneath Perry reads, “Perry King. Author. ‘Rebound.’” “a. Sports and the City. Why Do They Matter?”

Perry says, IT'S BASED IN A PARK THAT
IS A NEWCOMER COMMUNITY IN A SENSE
BUT HAS HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF
DIFFERENT KINDS OF PEOPLE, MAY
OF THEM NEW CANADIANS, MANY OF
THEM RACIALIZED, AND THERE'S
THIS FIELD CLOSE TO VALLEY PARK
MIDDLE SCHOOL, WHICH IS CLOSE TO
DON MILLS AND OVERLEA.

IT WAS A FACILITY THAT WASN'T
TAKEN CARE OF FOR A VERY LONG
TIME. BUT AFTER SOME INSPIRATIONAL
MOVEMENTS INSPIRED BY THE PEOPLE
IN THE COMMUNITY TO PLAN AND
REHABILITATE THE LAND, THEY
REALIZED PEOPLE WANTED TO
PLAY CRICKET.

Nam: AND CRICKET IS
SOMETHING THAT YOU WRITE
ABOUT IN THIS BOOK. WE'RE GOING
TO GET TO THAT IN JUST A
FEW MOMENTS.

BUT I WANTED TO GET YOU TO TELL
US THIS STORY ABOUT SAMMY AND
LOU AND EASTERN COMMERCE.

Text beneath Perry reads, “Perry King. Author. ‘Rebound.’” “a. Sports and the City. For the Love of Basketball.”

Perry says, ENDINGS.

THERE'S A LOT TO BE SAID ABOUT
WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS BUT IT'S
ABOUT HOW THINGS END AND HOW
THINGS CONTINUE.

SAMMY IS A FANTASTIC BASKETBALL
PLAYER. SHE CAME ALIVE AT EASTERN
COMMERCE WHEN THEIR GIRLS'
PROGRAM WAS KIND OF IN FULL
FLIGHT MODE AND WON A COUPLE
OF PROVINCIAL TITLES.

Text beneath Perry reads, “Perry King. @kngprry” “a. Sports and the City. For the Love of Basketball.”

Perry says, AND IT'S A PLACE THAT SHE THINK
ABOUT AND REFERS BACK TO ON A
FREQUENT BASIS. IT'S A REAL CENTRE
FOR HER.

AND, YOU KNOW, WHEN SHE SIGNED
TO GO TO VIRGINIA TECH, BECAUSE
SHE CHOSE THAT OVER A COUPLE OF
UNIVERSITIES --

Nam says, OVER YALE.

Perry says, OVER YALE. WHICH IS
EVERYONE'S DECISION TO MAKE.
NO KNOCKS AGAINST YALIES OR
ANYTHING LIKE THAT.

Text beneath Perry reads, “Perry King. Author. ‘Rebound.’” “a. Sports and the City. For the Love of Basketball.”

Perry says, BUT WHEN SHE SIGNED THERE,
I DON'T THINK MANY PEOPLE OUTSIDE
OF THE COMMUNITY KNEW THAT THE
SCHOOL WAS COMING TO AN END,
THAT THE PROGRAM WAS GOING TO BE
SHUTTING DOWN.

THE SCHOOL ITSELF WAS GOING TO
BE CLOSING, AND THAT WAS GOING
TO BE THE END OF THAT.

Nam says, I GREW UP IN LONDON,
ONTARIO, AND WE KNEW ABOUT
EASTERN COMMERCE.

THE SCHOOL HAD AN EXCEPTIONAL
BASKETBALL PROGRAM.

SO WHY DID IT END?

Text beneath Perry reads, “Perry King. Author. ‘Rebound.’” “a. Sports and the City. For the Love of Basketball.”

Perry says, IT ENDED -- WELL, THERE
ARE DIFFERENT THEORIES.

THE FOREGONE THEORY IS THAT
THERE WASN'T ENOUGH FUNDING TO
SUPPLY THE SCHOOL ITSELF.
THE BASKETBALL PROGRAM WAS KIND
OF PROPPING IT UP A LITTLE BIT,

AND STORIES THROUGHOUT THE LAST
YEAR OF THAT COMPETITION WAS,
YOU KNOW, THEY WOULD FUND-RAISE
ON THEIR OWN, THEY WOULD TRY TO
GET THEIR KIDS INTO TOURNAMENTS
IN ORDER TO GET THEM INTO
COLLEGE, WHETHER IT'S IN CANADA
OR THE UNITED STATES.

Text beneath Perry reads, “Perry King. @kngprry” “a. Sports and the City. For the Love of Basketball.”

Perry says, THAT WAS ACCOMPLISHED.
THEY GOT THEIR KIDS WHEREVER
THEY NEEDED TO GO.

BUT ESSENTIALLY IT WAS A JOURNEY
WHERE THEY HAD TO COMPETE AND BE
THIS TOGETHER, COHESIVE TEAM
WITHIN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES.
IT WAS A REALLY UNFORTUNATE ONE.

Nam says, YOU TELL SEVERAL
BASKETBALL STORIES, AND I THINK
FOR SOME PEOPLE, WE MIGHT THINK,
OH, BASKETBALL, IT'S JUST A
GAME, IT'S INCONSEQUENTIAL.

BUT FROM THE STORIES YOU TELL IN
THE BOOK, IT'S A LOT MORE THAN
THAT. WHAT IS BASKETBALL ABOUT?

Text beneath Perry reads, “Perry King. Author. ‘Rebound.’” “a. Sports and the City. For the Love of Basketball.”

Perry says, I THINK IT DELVES INTO
SOMETHING THAT HAS NOT JUST BEEN
REFLECTIVE OF TORONTO AND THE
GTA BUT OF THE PROVINCE.

IT'S A GAME WHERE PEOPLE CAN
ACCESS IT, CAN BEGIN TO PLAY
WITHOUT ALL THAT MUCH EQUIPMENT
OR TIME.

YOU JUST NEED A COUPLE NETS,
MAYBE ONE IF YOU'RE GOING TO
PLAY HALF COURT. BUT A BALL AND
A FEW PEOPLE TO KIND OF, YOU KNOW,
GET PEOPLE TOGETHER. AND THAT'S
REFLECTIVE OF WHO IS PLAYING THE GAME.

IT'S REFLECTIVE OF RACIALIZED
COMMUNITIES, OF DIFFERENT KINDS
OF COMMUNITIES WHO ARE LOOKING
FOR SOMETHING TO DO OR LOOKING
FOR SOMETHING REALLY
WELL-ORGANIZED AND
WELL-IMPLEMENTED.

IT'S SOMETHING DIFFERENT WITHIN
THE CITY THAT I DON'T THINK IS
REFLECTIVE OF THE HISTORY OF THE CITY.

WE KIND OF CONSIDER TORONTO TO
BE A HOCKEY CITY OR A CITY OF
RINKS, OF WHICH IT HAS A LOT
OF RINKS.

BUT I THINK THE MOVEMENT OF
BASKETBALL HAS REPRESENTED
SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
OVER THE LAST -- I WOULDN'T SAY
THE LAST TEN YEARS, I WOULD SAY
OVER THE LAST FORTY, FIFTY YEARS.

Nam says, WHAT HAS IT REPRESENTED?

Text beneath Perry reads, “Perry King. Author. ‘Rebound.’” “a. Sports and the City. For the Love of Basketball.”

Perry says, I FEEL LIKE IT'S REFLECTIVE
OF BLACK CULTURE.

THERE HAVE BEEN MANY BLACK
COMMUNITIES HERE IN TORONTO THAT
HAVE BEEN ABLE TO COME TOGETHER
AND ORGANIZE THIS GAME.

MAYBE THEY SEE AMERICANS PLAY
THE GAME AND THEY WERE INSPIRED
TO PLAY IT THROUGH THOSE MEANS.

BUT IF IT WAS THIS OR SOCCER OR
SOME OTHER SPORT, IT WAS AN
OPPORTUNITY TO COME TOGETHER
THAT WASN'T BEING PRESENTED AT
LARGE BY THE OPPORTUNITIES
CREATED BY GOVERNMENTS OR BY THE
CITY OR BY COMMUNITIES.

Text beneath Perry reads, “Perry King. Author. ‘Rebound.’” “a. Sports and the City. For the Love of Basketball.”

Perry says, IT WAS SOMETHING THAT
MANY RACIALIZED COMMUNITIES, FOR
EXAMPLE, CAME TOGETHER AND
REALLY PUT THEIR MINDS TO AND
THERE ARE REALLY GREAT EXAMPLES
OVER THE LAST FORTY YEARS OF GREAT
ORGANIZED PLAY, YOU KNOW, GREAT
PLAYERS TO HAVE COME AND GONE,
MEN AND WOMEN, WHO HAVE REALLY
PUT THEIR IMPRINT ON THE CITY.

THEY HAVE BEEN REAL INSPIRATION
HERE BECAUSE IT WAS A PLACE OF
OPPORTUNITY, A REALLY GREAT
CHANCE TO KIND OF MAKE IT A PART
OF WHO THEY WANTED TO BE.

Nam says, YOU ALSO MENTIONED
HOCKEY AND WE KNOW THAT CANADA
IS A HOCKEY COUNTRY.

BUT YOU ALSO WRITE ABOUT BALL
HOCKEY, AND THIS IS SOMETHING
THAT'S PLAYED A LOT IN BRAMPTON.
FIRST OF ALL, WHY IS IT PLAYED -- WHAT
IS BALL HOCKEY AND WHY BRAMPTON?

Text beneath Perry reads, “Perry King. Author. ‘Rebound.’” “a. Sports and the City. Hockey: Ball and Ice.”

Perry says, OKAY. SO BALL HOCKEY -- IT'S
NOT ALL THAT COMPLICATED.
THERE'S NO ICE. IT'S JUST A BALL.
MAYBE IT'S LIKE A LACROSSE BALL
OR SOMETHING REALLY HARD.

Nam says, I CAN PLAY THAT
BECAUSE I CAN'T SKATE.

Text beneath Perry reads, “Perry King. Author. ‘Rebound.’” “a. Sports and the City. Hockey: Ball and Ice.”

Perry says, ME NEITHER.
UNFORTUNATELY, AND I'VE TRIED.

IT'S PLAYED IN A RINK USUALLY
WHEN ARENAS ARE MORE QUIET
DURING THE SUMMER.
THEY'RE ORGANIZED THERE.

BUT IT'S FUNNY BECAUSE IT BECAME
A PLACE WHERE A LOT OF PEOPLE
WERE TAKING UP THE SPORT.
I DISCOVERED THAT A LOT OF SIKH
CANADIANS PLAY THE SPORT IN PEEL
REGION AND I WANTED TO EXPLORE
THAT A LITTLE BIT WITHIN THE
BOOK AND DO SOME EXAMPLES WITH
THE KHALSA CUP AND SPEAKING WITH
FORMER PLAYERS AND STUFF LIKE THAT.

I THINK THERE WAS A GREAT
MOVEMENT TO BE HAD.

AND BALL HOCKEY IN THIS REGION
IS SOME OF THE MOST PLAYED
WORLDWIDE. BUT IT ALSO GOT ME
TO THINK ABOUT ONE BIG THING.

SO WHY ARE THEY PLAYING THIS?
WHY AREN'T THEY PLAYING ICE
HOCKEY? AND --

Nam asks, WHAT'S THE ANSWER?

Perry says, DISCRIMINATION IN
SOME SENSE --

Nam says, BECAUSE BRAMPTON
IS A PREDOMINANTLY SOUTH
ASIAN COMMUNITY.

Text beneath Perry reads, “Perry King. Author. ‘Rebound.’” “a. Sports and the City. Hockey: Ball and Ice.”

Perry says, IT IS.
OR MAYBE A LACK OF A WELCOMING
ENVIRONMENT WITHIN HOCKEY
ITSELF. THERE ARE LARGER
QUESTIONS THERE.

BUT IF YOU SPEAK TO SOME
PEOPLE -- NOT EVERYONE IS GOING
TO HAVE THE SAME EXPERIENCE WITH
IT -- SOME PEOPLE FELT UNWELCOME
OR THEY FELT, YOU KNOW, STRIFE
AND MICRO-AGGRESSIONS THAT COME
UP, RACIAL TAUNTS, COACHES
WITHIN YOUTH HOCKEY ARE REALLY
COMPETITIVE AND SOMETIMES
THERE'S HAZING.

THERE'S A LOT OF THINGS WITHIN
THE SPORT THAT DIDN'T MAKE IT
WELCOMING FOR PEOPLE.

FOR EXAMPLE, SOUTH ASIAN
CANADIANS CHOSE TO PLAY BALL
HOCKEY AD NAUSEAM.

Text beneath Perry reads, “Perry King. @kngprry” “a. Sports and the City. Hockey: Ball and Ice.”

Nam says, SO THEY LIKE A LITTLE
BIT OF REMIX TO IT.

YOU MENTIONED CRICKET AT THE
VERY BEGINNING. CRICKET IS ANOTHER
GAME THAT THE SOUTH ASIAN COMMUNITY
HAS BEEN PLAYING IN TORONTO FOR
MANY YEARS.

TELL US ABOUT -- LIKE A SHORT
VERSION OF THE HISTORY OF
CRICKET IN THE CITY.

Text beneath Perry reads, “Perry King. Author. ‘Rebound.’” “a. Sports and the City. Toronto’s Cricket History.”

Perry says, I THINK IT'S MORE REFLECTIVE
OF THE HISTORY OF TORONTO ITSELF.

I KNOW THAT WE'RE ON INDIGENOUS
LAND, BUT THIS IS A BRITISH
COLONIAL PRACTICE THAT HAS BEEN
HERE FOR QUITE A LONG TIME.
IT CAME WITH THE BRITISH,
OBVIOUSLY, AND WITH BRITISH
IMMIGRANTS AND IT'S KIND OF
REFLECTIVE OF THAT KIND OF
COLONIAL KIND OF RELATIONSHIP.

IN CURRENT MANNER OF DAY, IT'S
REFLECTIVE OF DIFFERENT KINDS OF
COMMUNITIES, WELCOMING -- SORRY,
NEWCOMER COMMUNITIES AND NEW
CANADIANS HAVE BROUGHT THIS GAME
TO THIS COUNTRY TO PLAY IT. AND THEY'VE
FOUND PLACES TO PLAY WITHIN THE CITY.
I MENTION EGLINTON FLATS THERE
IN THE EXCERPT YOU READ.

BUT THERE ARE EXAMPLES OVER TIME
THAT GROUPS OF PEOPLE WOULD COME
TOGETHER TO PLAY CRICKET, BUT
THEY WOULDN'T PLAY IT ON A
TRADITIONAL CRICKET PATCH OR
ANYTHING LIKE THAT, THEY WOULD
PLAY IN A PARKING LOT, THEY
WOULD PLAY ON THE STREET, THEY
WOULD PLAY ON A TDSB FIELD THAT
WASN'T REGULATED FOR IT.

THEY WOULD FIND PLACES TO PLAY
REGARDLESS OF THE OBSTACLES IN
THEIR WAY.

Nam says, YOU KIND OF EXPLAINED
THE GAME TO ME BECAUSE I ALWAYS
FIND IT A LITTLE BIT CONFUSING.
IF YOU WANT TO UNDERSTAND
CRICKET, PERRY HAS A GREAT
EXPLANATION OF HOW IT'S PLAYED
IN THE BOOK.

THE PANDEMIC, YOU KNOW, IT'S
BEEN LIKE ON MONTH FIFTY THOUSAND,

[Nam laughs]

She says, BUT ONE OF THE THINGS THAT
IT DID WAS IT KIND OF CURBED OUR
ABILITY TO PLAY SPORT WITHIN
THE COMMUNITIES.

YOU MENTIONED THAT FOUR HUNDRED
THOUSAND DOLLARS IN FINES WERE
COLLECTED BY THE CITY FROM PEOPLE
WHO WERE BREAKING SOCIAL DISTANCING
RULES AND HALF OF THAT WAS FOR USING
AMENITIES LIKE PARKS AND BASKETBALL
COURTS. THAT SOUNDS LIKE A HUGE NUMBER.
DOES THAT SHOCK YOU?

Text beneath Perry reads, “Perry King. Author. ‘Rebound.’” “a. Sports and the City. Our Relationship with Public Space.”

Perry says, THAT'S A REALLY GOOD
QUESTION. I DON'T KNOW IF IT DID.

I KNOW THAT WE'VE HAD TO KIND OF
REALLY THINK DIFFERENTLY DURING
THE PANDEMIC AND I THINK THROUGH
MAYBE AN EARLY RUN WHERE WE'RE
THINKING ABOUT MAKING SURE THAT
PEOPLE ARE NOT IN COMMON SPACES
SPREADING A VIRUS THAT WE KNEW
LITTLE ABOUT, THAT MAYBE MORE
FINES WOULD BUILD UP OVER TIME.

BUT AS WE'VE KIND OF EXPLORED
WHAT WE NEEDED THROUGH THE
PANDEMIC, WHAT THOSE REVELATIONS
WERE TELLING US, I THINK IT'S
MORE REFLECTIVE OF, OKAY, SO
PEOPLE NEED PUBLIC SPACE.

THEY NEED A PLACE TO GO.
THEY NEED A PLACE TO BE
THEMSELVES, BE WITH PEOPLE IN
A DISTANT WAY.

THE CITY IS A COMPLEX ONE.
IT'S NOT JUST LIKE DENSE CONDOS
OR BUILT-UP COMMUNITIES, IT'S
FULL OF A BUNCH OF SPACE, A
BUNCH OF EMPTY SPACE.

SOME OF THAT SPACE DOESN'T HAVE
BENCHES OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT.

Text beneath Perry reads, “Perry King. Author. ‘Rebound.’” “a. Sports and the City. Our Relationship with Public Space.”

He says, BUT IT'S SPACES THAT ARE IN
FLUX. THEY'RE NOT -- IN TERMS OF
REALIZING WHAT A PUBLIC SPACE
COULD LOOK LIKE AND HOW WE
ANIMATE THOSE SPACES, YOU KNOW,
PEOPLE HAVE TRIED TO PLAY IN
THESE SPACES AND THEY'VE BEEN
FINED OR THEY'VE BEEN POLICED OR
OVERPOLICED BY THE POLICE --

Nam says, I THINK WE'VE HAD THIS
CONVERSATION BEFORE ON THIS
SHOW, THAT WHO IS PUBLIC SPACE FOR?

BECAUSE THROUGHOUT THE PANDEMIC
WE WERE TOLD STAY AT HOME, STAY
IN YOUR BUBBLE, BUT IF YOU NEED
TO, FOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH,
BECAUSE WE DO LIVE IN A CITY
WHERE PEOPLE LIVE IN DENSE
COMMUNITIES, GO OUTSIDE FOR YOUR
MENTAL HEALTH.

YET WHEN THINGS REOPENED, GOLF
COURSES AND TENNIS COURTS OPENED
BEFORE PLAYGROUNDS AND
BASKETBALL COURTS.

WHAT DID THAT SAY ABOUT WHAT IS
SEEN AS VALUABLE IN OUR SOCIETY?

Text beneath Perry reads, “Perry King. Author. ‘Rebound.’” “a. Sports and the City. Our Relationship with Public Space.”

Perry says, IT SAYS A LOT ABOUT HOW
WE DON'T VALUE WHAT RACIALIZED
COMMUNITIES, QUEER SPACES,
INDIGENOUS SPACES ACTUALLY NEED
IN ORDER TO FUNCTION OR HAVE A
LIVABLE KIND OF CITY.

WHEN THEY SAY THAT GOLF COURSES,
OF WHICH THERE'S, YOU KNOW, A
SUBSTANTIAL AMOUNT AND THEY CAN
BE PUBLIC SPACES, THE POTENTIAL
TO TRANSFORM THEM INTO
ACCESSIBLE SPACES FOR
COMMUNITIES THAT LIVE AROUND
THOSE COURSES AND THOSE COURTS,
IT OPENS UP AN OPPORTUNITY THERE
TO RE-THINK SOMETHING, AT LEAST
IN THAT MOMENT.

TO GIVE PEOPLE AN OPTION TO BE
ACTIVE, TO HAVE A HEALTHY
LIFESTYLE, THAT KIND OF THING.

Text beneath Perry reads, “Perry King. @kngprry” “a. Sports and the City. Our Relationship with Public Space.”

Perry says, BUT TO SEE THE LACK OF
SUPPORT FOR PUBLIC SPACES IN THIS WAY
HAS HAD SOME CONSEQUENCES.

Nam says, WHAT ARE THOSE
CONSEQUENCES?

Perry says, I THINK PEOPLE ARE JUST
GOING TO PRIVATE SPACES. THEY'RE
GOING INSIDE. THEY'RE SEDENTARY.

THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES THAT ARE
UNFORTUNATE, UNFORTUNATELY.

Nam says, OF COURSE, IT MAKES ME
THINK OF KIDS BECAUSE WE'VE BEEN
HEARING KIDS ARE RESILIENT THAT,
YOU KNOW, THEY'RE GOING TO BE FINE.

BUT YET WHEN EVERYTHING SHUT
DOWN, IF YOUR KID WAS IN A REC.
PROGRAM, THOSE WERE CANCELLED.
WHAT DID CHILDREN AND YOUTH LOSE
AS A RESULT OF NOT BEING ABLE TO
ACCESS RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES
DURING THIS PANDEMIC?

Text beneath Perry reads, “Perry King. Author. ‘Rebound.’” “a. Sports and the City. Our Relationship with Public Space.”

Perry says, IT WAS REFLECTIVE IN THE
PARTICIPACTION REPORT CARD.

I KNOW THAT THE TWENTY-TWENTY
GRADE WAS A D MINUS, SOMETHING
LIKE THAT, CLOSE TO A FAILURE.

WHICH IS WEIRD BECAUSE YOU WOUL
THINK ALL THESE RESOURCES AT OUR
DISPOSAL WAS LEADING TO BETTER
OPPORTUNITIES FOR KIDS TO TAKE
PART IN SOMETHING.

BUT IT'S REFLECTIVE OF MAYBE A
LACK OF OPPORTUNITIES BEING
PRESENTED TO KIDS, NOT EVEN JUST
KIDS WITH PRIVILEGE.

Nam says, WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY
THAT LACK OF OPPORTUNITY PRESENTED?

Text beneath Perry reads, “Perry King. Author. ‘Rebound.’” “a. Sports and the City. Our Relationship with Public Space.”

Perry says, IN TERMS OF WHAT
PROGRAMMING IS AVAILABLE IN
PUBLIC FACILITIES, FOR EXAMPLE.

COMMUNITY CENTRES ARE SUPPOSED
TO BE HUBS FOR GREAT PROGRAMMING,
FOR GREAT COMMUNITY INTERACTION.
BUT BECAUSE THOSE PLACES AND
SPACES WERE CLOSED, KIDS THAT
WOULD GENERALLY USE THOSE WOULD
BE SOMEWHERE ELSE.

IN SOME CASES THEY COULD BE IN A
PLACE THAT IS MAYBE MORE
TROUBLESOME OR ON THE STREET.
THOSE LACK OF OPPORTUNITIES WERE
CLEAR AND PRESENT.

AND IT'S KIND OF REFLECTIVE OF
SOMETHING EVEN MORE -- SO WHERE
ARE CHILDREN, WHERE ARE PARENTS
AND FAMILIES PUTTING THEIR
ENERGIES NOW?

HOW CAN THEY BALANCE OUT WHAT
THEY NEED IN THIS REGARD WITH
EVERYTHING ELSE THAT IS BEING
PRESENTED TO THEM?

IT'S A VERY DIFFICULT THING TO
MANAGE. SOME PEOPLE CAN'T MAKE
THAT DECISION. SOME PEOPLE DON'T
HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE
THAT DECISION.

SOME PEOPLE ARE CHOOSING TO JUST
FOCUS ON SCHOOL OR FOCUS ON
ANOTHER THING THAT IS IN THEIR LIFE.
SOMETIMES THAT HAS CONSEQUENCES.
THOSE THINGS SUFFER.

Nam asks, IS THIS SOMETHING THAT
WORRIES YOU?

I KNOW THAT SPORT FOR ME AS A
YOUNG PERSON REALLY HELPED TO
INCREASE MY CONFIDENCE AND, YOU
KNOW, MY KIDS WERE IN REC.
ACTIVITIES, MY SON WAS PLAYING
BASKETBALL, AND WHEN THE
PANDEMIC HAPPENED, HAD TO BE
PULLED OUT.

SPORT HAS PLAYED A HUGE -- HAS
PLAYED A HUGE ROLE IN YOUR LIFE.
YOU LOVE SPORT. YOU LOVE THIS CITY.
IS THIS SOMETHING THAT KEEPS YOU
UP AT NIGHT?

Text beneath Perry reads, “Perry King. Author. ‘Rebound.’” “a. Sports and the City. Our Relationship with Public Space.”

Perry says, YES. YES.

I CARE VERY MUCH ABOUT THE CITY.
I REALLY DO CARE ABOUT MAKING
SURE THAT THERE'S, YOU KNOW, A
GENERALLY BETTER HEALTH PROFILE,
A CITY THAT IS MORE LIVABLE.

IT'S NOT EVEN JUST ABOUT PLAYING
A SPORT, IT'S PUTTING THEIR
ENERGIES INTO SOMETHING THAT
DEVELOPS THEIR LEADERSHIP SKILLS
AND THEIR RELATIONSHIPS WITH
OTHER PEOPLE, PEOPLE THEY
WOULDN'T GENERALLY KNOW.

Text beneath Perry reads, “Perry King. @kngprry” “a. Sports and the City. Our Relationship with Public Space.”

Perry says, SPORTS IS A GREAT
OPPORTUNITY AND PROBABLY THE
BEST OPPORTUNITY TO ENGAGE IN
THOSE KIND OF IDEAS.

THE FACT THAT IT'S BEING REMOVED
OR BEING CUT BACK IS – YOU KNOW,
TIME IS VERY FINITE. BETTER DECISIONS
HAVE TO BE MADE, RIGHT?

SO I WANT TO SAY THAT WE HAVE
ALL THE RESOURCES AT OUR
DISPOSAL IN ORDER TO CREATE A
BETTER ENVIRONMENT FOR KIDS, BUT
FOR PEOPLE OF ALL AGES TOO TO
BETTER ENGAGE IN SPORTS IN SOME
KIND OF WAY.

IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT ENGAGING
ACTIVITIES TO GET YOURSELF TO
THE PROS.

YOU DON'T NECESSARILY NEED THAT,
ALTHOUGH WE CAN LOOK TO IT FOR
SOME ANSWERS AND TEAMS LIKE THE
RAPTORS AND JAYS COULD HAVE A
ROLE IN HOW WE DEVELOP THAT KIND
OF INFRASTRUCTURE.

Text beneath Perry reads, “Perry King. Author. ‘Rebound.’” “a. Sports and the City. Our Relationship with Public Space.”

Perry says, BUT THERE'S GOT TO BE A
WAY TO ORGANIZE AND GET TOGETHER
IN ORDER TO CREATE IDEAS, IN ORDER
TO HAVE A BETTER, HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE.

Nam says, WE HAVE ABOUT THIRTY
SECONDS LEFT.

YOU TALK IN THE BOOK ABOUT HOW
SPORT CAN BE USED AS A TOOL IN
CITY-BUILDING. HOW SO?

Text beneath Perry reads, “Perry King. Author. ‘Rebound.’” “a. Sports and the City. Our Relationship with Public Space.”

Perry says, I THINK WHEN STUDENTS,
TEACHERS, PARENTS, DIFFERENT
KINDS OF GROUPS UNDERSTAND THAT
THIS IS A CONCERN THAT NEEDS TO
BE GALVANIZED, WHEN THEY
ORGANIZE AND GET TOGETHER, THEY
CAN KIND OF CREATE A CASE IN
LOCAL GOVERNMENTS BUT ALSO IN
PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENTS BECAUSE
CITIES ARE A CREATURE OF THE
PROVINCE -- THERE'S AN
OPPORTUNITY THERE TO PRESENT
IDEAS THAT ARE ON THE LANDSCAPE,
THAT COULD BE REALLY EFFECTIVE.

THE GO-GREEN YOUTH CENTRE IS A
GREAT EXAMPLE OF THAT.

PEOPLE WHO CAME TOGETHER -- YOU
KNOW, DESPITE GOVERNMENT HELP
BUT ALSO IT CAME ABOUT BECAUSE
IT WAS WELL-FUNDED BY THREE
LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT, THAT THERE
ARE IDEAS THERE THAT COULD BE
PICKED UP AND ADAPTED INTO A
LOCAL LANDSCAPE, SOMETHING THAT
IS CUSTOM-BUILT FOR NEIGHBOURHOODS
IN ORDER TO WORK ON.

EVEN DEVELOPING SOME KIND OF
CHARTER OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT.
SOMETHING THAT DEFINES THE TERMS
OF HOW WE NEED TO PROCEED IS ALL
VERY IMPORTANT.

Text beneath Nam reads, “a. Sports and the City. Produced by: Meredith Martin. @MeredithMartin”


Nam says, AND THAT WE CAN ALL
BENEFIT FROM.

PERRY, CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR
BOOK AND THANK YOU FOR BEING IN
STUDIO WITH ME.

IT'S BEEN GREAT TO SEE ANOTHER
PERSON AND NOT ZOOM--

Perry says, NOT A STRANGER.

Nam says, YAY! IT'S BEEN GREAT.

Perry says, THANK YOU SO MUCH.


Watch: Sports and the City