Sports, Community, and the Inclusive City
From basketball hoops to cricket bats, the role community sports play in our cities and how crucial they are to diversity and inclusion.
“The virus exposed how we live and work. It also revealed how we play, and what we lose when we have to stop.” For every kid who makes it to the NBA, thousands more seek out the pleasure and camaraderie of pick-up basketball in their local community centre or neighbourhood park. It’s a story that plays out in sport after sport – team and individual, youth and adult, men's and women's. While the dazzle of pro athletes may command our attention, grassroots sports build the bridges that link city-dwellers together in ways that go well beyond the physical benefits. The pandemic and heightened awareness of racial exclusion reminded us of the importance of these pastimes and the public spaces where we play. In this closely reported exploration of the role of community sports in diverse cities, Toronto journalist Perry King makes an impassioned case for re-imagining neighbourhoods whose residents can be active, healthy, and connected.
"I couldn’t stop reading Perry King’s Rebound. An evocative essay about the transformative and uniting power of local sports in a city with residents from every country in the world, the book is well researched, entertaining, and informative. It spoke to my own experiences as a young athlete fitting into a new city when I first came to Toronto – and to the importance our city government must place on local recreation and sports if our city is to help all residents reach their potential. A fantastic contribution to understanding Toronto – and to the power of local recreation in any major city." —David Miller, former mayor of Toronto
"In this closely reported exploration of the role of community sports in diverse cities, Toronto journalist Perry King makes an impassioned case for re-imagining neighbourhoods whose residents can be active, healthy, and connected." - 49th Shelf, Best Books of 2021