“We’ve all been directly or indirectly effected by the havoc wreaked by youth gang violence, and if we can play a small role in deterring even one youth from going down the path of no return, we’ve succeeded. However, if we can engage our youth in creating a movement and ridding our community of the youth and gang violence epidemic at its root, well, we just saved an entire generation. In the face of adversity, its time to come together and claim back our community, our youth.” Words of Jessica Sherman, from Kids Play Foundation.
Kids Play Foundation, a non-profit organization committed towards keeping kids away from the lifestyle of drugs, gangs, and violence, hosted their first ever 3V3 Basketball Tournament in Abbotsford! The response of teams and parents showed how much of an appetite there is for free programs like this. There were over 200 volunteers, participants and parents. Everything was provided by Kids Play hence keeping it free of cost for each attendee. This is made possible due to sponsors who give back so generously to the communities they work and live in. Thus far, with over 500 volunteer members, spearheading over 80 projects and 180 events, Kids Play has impacted over 60,000 youth through their free programs since their inception in 2015.
The bedrock and fundamental principle of these programs is to establish a rapport with the youth through the medium of sports. Organized sports are being used throughout the world as a dynamic mechanism to engage youth of all races, genders, and classes. Through the initiative of providing the youth with an opportunity to play in organized sports tournaments, they strive to bridge a gap between the youth and adults in a constructive manner. In doing so, providing young people with a positive identity and feelings of empowerment, whilst developing sportsmanship, leadership, teamwork and self governance skills.
Kids Play’s ever-growing family includes, veteran law enforcement officer and Kids Play founder and CEO, Kal Dosanjh; Ambassador, Wally Oppal; the first ever Indian basketball player to play in the NBA, Satnam Singh; Indo-Canadian professional wrester, Jinder Mahal; the Whitecaps; the BC Lions; the Vancouver Giants, Hockey Canada; as well as a team of decorated volunteers, all working tirelessly towards one common goal: the betterment of the youth.
They ran their annual Super Soccer Tournament at BC Place Stadium. “This past Monday, May 28th, BC Place hosted one of the most important events of the year as hundreds of Vancouver school kids participated in the KIDS Play Foundation Soccer Tournament,” stated BC Place on their website. Over 700 kids from the Lower Mainland, primarily from schools in Downtown Eastside, got an opportunity to play on the turf and also hear Vancouver Whitecaps FC Ambassador, Carl Valentino, share his life story. Subway Canada provided all the food and Starbucks provided beverages. Over 300 volunteers from the Lower Mainland came to participate and help run the tournament.
Spectators and the community got to see first hand the difference they are making with their free programs. They have a few events coming up where they hope to see the community more involved in.
Kids Play Foundation is committed to promoting and developing interactive and collaborative ways to action core character values to benefit the community at large.
To get involved: Kids Play Foundation – firstname.lastname@example.org