Frankie Parker: A Local Black Lives Matter Role Model Building Strong People, And Strong Athletes

Frankie Parker - Black Lives Matter
Frankie Parker at this year’s Black Lives Matter march in Chatham – Photo by Jenna Cocullo / Chatham Voice

Frankie Parker takes the calling of role model seriously.

Parker, has been working as a trainer at Peak Athletic Training for the past five years, and was front and centre at Chatham’s Black Lives Matter rally earlier this year.

He takes his role as a leader for youth seriously.

“I’ve been blessed to cross the path and work with many of our local young athletes and have had the opportunity to watch them work hard and achieve their goals,” says Parker of working with Chatham-Kent’s youth at Peak.

“Through those opportunities I’ve found my passion of working with the youth in our community. Reflecting back on being a young athlete myself I’ve realized the most effective role models and mentors in my life were my coaches and to this day I still lean on and have great relationships with them. So I certainly understand the importance of sports and how important the role of a coach or mentor is to helping shape the youth in our community.”

Speaking with local police officers, and leading the charge in Chatham-Kent’s Black Lives Matter movement is another way Parker is serving as a mentor.

For Parker, Black Lives Matter is a personal matter.

“Growing up as a slave decedent in North Buxton and understanding my history and the history of my community are definitely the foundation of my passion with what Black Lives Matter means to me.”

“I just realized that the Black Lives Matter movement had a lot of momentum with what was going on around the world and also realizing that we had well over a thousand people who showed up to support our march and all we were missing was a voice from someone who’s from this community and understands this community,” said Parker of his reasoning for placing himself front and centre at the march, and questioning local law enforcement.

“I’m still extremely thankful that my message was received so well. It was important to me that our community didn’t let this become a political movement and made sure we use that momentum to create real change. I really hope through my message people understand the importance of investing the time and energy in our youth. They are our future and they deserve it. “

Frankie Parker with local basketball players Elliott Cowan, Jana Kucera, and Logan Kucera in North Buxton

One of the ways Parker has helped invest in Chatham-Kent’s youth and sporting community, was helping to make improvements to North Buxton’s basketball courts, which have been a popular destination this summer for Chatham-Kent youth of all backgrounds.

“Throughout my years going up in North Buxton most of us kids were involved with different events, activities, and groups around the community and one of those groups I had the pleasure being a part of and pioneering was our youth committee called Buxton Next Generation,” he explained.

“We worked with our museum committee and community club and became involved with different events through our Homecoming weekend and different events throughout the year. After saving up money from these events we were able to upgrade and purchase some high end basketball nets for our court.  Most people who’ve played on our court or know about our court would agree we have one of the nicest courts in Southwestern Ontario.”

With role models like Frankie Parker in North Buxton and Chatham-Kent, there is hope for the community’s next generation.

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