Kids Play Youth Foundation is a registered society which commenced it’s operations in the month of June 2015, and prior to that operated with PALS Society of Canada. The initiative of this program is to develop skills in our youth that will assist them in becoming successful leaders and innovators of the future. Kids Play is working towards keeping kids away from the lifestyle that includes drugs, gangs, and violence.

Kids Play holds sports tournaments, conferences, and other projects for the youth community to provide them with opportunities to lead healthy life styles. The organization is operated by leaders from all across the Lower Mainland wanting to bring a positive change within the community.

Kids Play believes their work will allow the youth to discover the potential they have within themselves to reach greater heights in any aspect of life. Their vision is to create young leaders within the community through involvement in sports and other recreational activities and wants the youth to obtain opportunities that will allow them to excel in all aspects of life.

Their mission is to organize sports tournaments, conferences, and other projects to keep them away from the lifestyle including drugs, gangs, and violence. Each month the program brings to the community resourceful events in the form of educational forums and sports activities. Richmond saw its first ever Western Canada Age Class Wrestling Championships take place at the Richmond Olympic Oval from January 16- 17, 2015. This Wrestling BC sanctioned event saw almost 800 school age athletes travel to Richmond to compete in two days of youth competitions. Youth of all ages competed in the 12 and under division, all the way up to the juvenile division for 17 and 18 year olds. Kids Play was proud to be a part of this historic event.

In March, Kids Play hosted it’s first 3 on 3 Indoor Soccer Classic which took place on March 8th and 9th at the Guru Angad Dev Elementary. Support from community members and local businesses played a huge role in the success of this event. The volunteers put in tremendous amounts of hard work to run the event which had over 400 kids participating. One of the White Caps players, Derrick Bassi, who helped to coordinate and execute this event and also spoke to the players and audience about the importance of sports and how engagement in recreational activities keeps children off the streets and helps instill valuable lessons in their lives. BC Tigers Soccer Club, the largest soccer club of the Lower Mainland, helped to host the event. Free hot lunch was served to everyone – players, volunteers, sponsors, and spectators.

In the same month, Kids Play conducted a forum on Anti-Racism with a partner organisation to spread awareness on the ongoing problem of various forms of discrimination. The forum took place on March 21st at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. The event was a houseful with over 200 guests attending it. Prominent members of the society spoke to the audience about creating awareness about the issues prevailing in the society. Member of Legislative Assembly, Hon. Amrik Virk, and Member of Parliament, Jinny Sims also attended the event and said a few words on the various forms and effects of discrimination. Hon. Amrik Virk recognized the efforts of Kids Play’s executive founder, Kal Dosanjh, for his community work and his passion for serving his people through programs which intend to bring about positive changes in the society.

For Vaisakhi, in April, Kids Play volunteers got together to represent the organisation in the parade. Everyone wore Kids Play shirts and walked together for the entire day with the parade to aware people of the new opportunities available for the youth.

They also teamed up with a law enforcement agency to unfold the largest program of the year for the youth – Kids PlayPAL Youth Soccer Tournament held at BC Place Stadium. Over 1000 youth from elementary schools in the Downtown Eastside participated in the tournament. They had over 80 volunteers from Kids Play, and other non – profit organizations from the lower mainland. The efforts of the volunteers made this event one to remember. These young students participated in competitive soccer and learnt the opportunities to become leaders and athletes within their communities. For the month of June, Kids Play partnered up with Universal Athletics Club and held a Track and Field meet. The target audiences were the children and families of the Lower Mainland. The event was held at Bear Creek Park on June 27 and 28. Like all other Kids Play events, this event was also free for all attendees. There were over a hundred youth participants at the meet.

In August, Kids Play partnered up with BCMCL to bring to the community a cricket tournament. Players from all over BC, along with their families to enjoyed a friendly tournament. The event was an extraordinary success and the plans of holding it annually are gradually coming in place. This would not have been possible without Jimmy Hansraj and all the members of the league! A shout out to our sponsors and volunteers who have made it possible to serve the community in an exceptional manner.

In September, they conducted two events– Sports Awards Gala and 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament which went very well. For the basketball tournament, Kids Play partnered up with another nonprofit organisation, SOAR Philanthropic Society – this organisation provides scholarships to students aspiring to attend post – secondary. Kids Play is providing the organisation with a thousand dollars to fund a scholarship for 2016. At the Sports Awards Gala, young athletes were recognised for their achievements.

The purpose of this event was to appreciate those who are representing the community in a positive manner and to encourage those who are yet to be a part of such endeavours to pave their paths in similar directions to attain success. They held an anti-Drug Gang Conference in October with over 400 youth in attendance. The target audience was youth along with families to aware them of the lifestyle of drugs and gangs and the affects that tag along.

The event was held along with Odd Squad Productions, a non-profit which aims to bring awareness among youth via powerful multimedia presentations. Many parents were thrilled to bring their kids to this sort of an event to show them what involvement in negative behaviour can do to their lives. Feedback from audience suggested the presentation was informative and powerful and almost everyone looks forward to more of these events in the near future.

Kiran Toor