Some of you might recognize as me as ‘M’ from Journey to the Centre of York, my other YU Blog endeavor.
Today, however, I’d like to welcome you to my new summer blog, Pan Ambling. If you haven’t yet guessed, this blog will be an online companion to the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games this summer, from July 10 to August 15, for which York is hosting events both at the Rexall Centre and the newly built CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Athletics Stadium.
I am very excited to be able to blog about the Games. I moved to Toronto only a few years ago so I could study at York, and the two main reasons I have grown to love this city are the same reasons why I feel so pumped for the Games.
The first is that Toronto is so culturally diverse and accepting. Everyone you meet has a unique background and perspective, and when we take the opportunity and time to learn more about each other, we are rewarded with the chance to become both kinder and wiser. With 42 countries participating in the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games this summer, Toronto is hosting an opportunity to weave our international community closer together, literally through play.
The second reason I love this city is that there always seems to be something going on. Sporting events. Theatre. Concerts. Festivals. The Pan Am/Parapan Am Games don’t only bring weeks of spirited competition — they also bring the community-involving Torch Relays, and even more compelling (to me at least), the art- and music-filled PANAMANIA festival, which lasts for an astounding 35 days.
Behind the Name
Choosing the right name for a blog sort of resembles choosing the right home. A name provides a one-of-a-kind shell, influencing the shape of a unique, three-dimensional space later to be filled with words. Each home is tailored to the person or family who chooses it, but it also presents itself to the world, so when I came up with the name for this blog, I felt it was imperative to pick one that would appear inviting to others as well. Something that is very important to me is inclusiveness. And what better better way to navigate the boisterous energy of the Games than to move at a pace that is open and welcoming to all? To amble means to walk at a leisurely pace, allowing both everyone to join in and providing ample time and space for reflection.
Pan Ambling will walk you through the Games, providing news and insights in a manner as accessible to and as inclusive of everybody as possible, in the spirit of the Games themselves. York University adheres to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, meaning that Pan Ambling follows high standards such as a focus on text readability, reasonable text-to-graphic ratios and descriptive text on images for those who make use of screen-reading software.
Do you have any suggestions on how we can make this blog more accessible to you? Please don’t hesitate to reach out at any point. You will find contact information at the end of each post.
What to Expect
Starting this week until mid-August, walk with me through a field of ideas. Expect to hear from me every week, usually more than once. I hope to hear from you too — together, let’s make this a blog for you! And who are “you”? From my perspective,
- York and other GTA students
- York faculty and staff
- International visitors
- Community members in the area around York
You can expect posts on a variety of stories, both practical and lighthearted, some short, others providing more in-depth insights. Here are some topics you will definitely hear about in the weeks to come:
- Fun facts — Do you know where the first Pan Am Torch was lit back in 1951? Hint: It’s the birthplace of the Olympics.
- Important news related to the Games — such as where to pick up your tickets and when to catch your favourite events.
- Games-related events — like PANAMANIA, a 35-day-long festival with daily concerts and art presentations.
- Additional things do on campus and in the city — including the best places to eat, tourist attractions you cannot miss and local architecture that make perfect backdrops for your selfies. 😉
- Game Highlights — major victories, surprising defeats and heartwarming moments.
- Traffic updates and insider navigation — because, let’s be honest, we all want to save time on traffic so we can have more fun enjoying the events.
Of course, there will also be a few other surprises along the way! Is there anything you think I should be paying special attention to? Anything you’d like to hear about? As always, if there is something you would like to see, or if you just want to chat about the Games, please reach out. You can comment below, tweet me @yorkuniversity or even post to York University’s Facebook page. I will try to respond within 24 hours.
To make sure you don’t miss any posts, I also recommend bookmarking the following link: yublog.apps01.yorku.ca/pan-ambling/.
That’s all for now. Until soon!