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No Limits makes physical activity affordable for families

By Rebecca Bartlett [5]

BELLEVILLE – No Limits Youth Organization [6] is dedicated to making physical activities affordable and fun for youth aged five to 19.

The Belleville-based organization says that every child should have the opportunity to participate in physical activity no matter their ability or their family’s financial status.

Director and founder Brenda Gabriel says No Limits was started for very personal reasons.

“I have a son who is special needs, and there’s not a lot of special-needs programming,” Gabriel told QNet News this week. But it was her daughter who kick-started the idea. Back in 2012 her daughter wanted to take dance classes, but at the time the family couldn’t afford them. So they started up their own classes.

“Other studios would cost you about $600 for the year, and here it costs $140 for a student to participate in dance,” Gabriel said. “So many families who are involved with No Limits have their kids in dance because it’s affordable for them, and if it wasn’t for No Limits they wouldn’t be able to do dance.”

The organization also offers football because her husband, co-founder Peter Gabriel, is passionate about the sport and wanted to bring that passion to youth in the Quinte area, she said.

Basketball and a running club are also offered.

For special-needs kids, there are classes in hip-hop and freeze football, with basketball will be coming soon.

“My son at 21 is experiencing more than he ever has in his whole life,” Gabriel said.

Most of the coaches at No Limits are volunteers.

Community involvement is huge for the success of No Limits, Gabriel said, explaining that sponsors play an important part.

“We want to keep our fees affordable, so we depend on and appreciate the support of the community. So we look for sponsorship.”

There is a need for businesses that want to sponsor a specific activity, as well as those that could become a corporate sponsor of No Limits for the year. As No Limits continues to grow, these sponsors become more important, Gabriel said.

“We reach a lot of families in our community. I would say on average we’re reaching about 200 families. And it’s growing 30 per cent every year.”

Gabriel says she thinks a lot of people know the community really needs an organization like No Limits so that no child misses out on opportunities to get involved.