Surrey soccer tourney aims to keep kids on right path, out of crime

Second annual event organized by Liberian refugee Dacious Richardson

GUILDFORD — A soccer tournament this month has been planned for youth, by youth, with the aim of keeping kids on the right path and hopefully steer them away from crime.

The event is being organized by Dacious Richardson, a Guildford resident who came to Canada from Liberia as a refugee in 2011.

“The one thing that got me to express myself and open up to my peers and meeting new people was playing sports, like soccer,” said Richardson, who is a member of the Surrey Refugee Youth Team. “This is what inspired me to start the Surrey Youth Mini Soccer Tournament. Its main purpose is to engage and connect youth, with a focus on refugee and immigrant youth, as well as youth at-risk, to participate in sports and connect with friends, both new and old.”

With engagement and connection in mind, Richardson said police will be involved in the event.

“The Surrey RCMP will be present throughout the event,” said Richardson, “and before the tournament kick off, they will be speaking to the youth about violence and how we can stop it from happening….. so they can get the knowledge and hopefully make a better choice for the future.

“That is very important,” he added. “If you look now at our city there’s a lot of gang violence going around and I believe that it’s good when we get the RCMP to engage with the youth, just to tell them, ‘There’s other ways to look at your life.’ Getting involved in the community is a big thing to do. If you are involved in the community you get connected and can look after one another.”

See also: VIDEO: The inspiration behind a Surrey gang presentation in elementary schools

See also: How gangsters are recruiting Surrey teens on Instagram, Snapchat

This is year two for the tourney, and Richardson said the 2017 iteration was “very successful as it brought youth and young people in the community together.”

He intends to continue running the event annually.

“Last year, we had four teams but we have more teams registered this summer already,” Richardson told the Now-Leader, counting seven that had signed up by Aug. 2. “People in the community also attended last year and it was really great, because a lot of people came out.”

This year, the tourney is changing venues, from inside Guildford rec centre to outdoor fields at Hjorth Road Park.

The 2018 event received a $900 grant through Oak Avenue Neighbourhood Society and the Vancouver Foundation.

Prizes will be handed out for teams, as well as the “Golden Boot” award for the top scorer and “Most Valuable Player.”

“We buy new soccer balls, and equipment to use for the tournament, so we give them away. There’s a draw,” said Richardson. “Medals and trophies will also be handed out, and gift cards.”

Teams of five-by-five will play in the tournament, with youth ages 13 to 21 able to participate. Individuals who sign up can be matched with others to form a team. For more information and to register email guildfordyouthsoccer@gmail.com or call 604-502-6055. Registration deadline is Aug. 16.

Surrey Youth Mini Soccer Tournament is set to run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug 18 at Hjorth Road Park soccer fields (10275 148th St.).



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Amy on Twitter

Just Posted

Torched-SUV victim ‘had the purest heart,’ says sister

Family of teen found in burned SUV in Surrey appeals for justice

United Way to bring little libraries to Clayton

United Way is hoping to partner with residents to host the free gathering spaces for the community

Delta to give Deltassist $75,000 for seniors programs

The funding will replace a grant from United Way that’s set to expire next year

In split vote, Surrey council gives early nod to draft budget

Councillors Locke, Pettigrew, Hundial and Annis vote against capital program

White Rock sandcastle competition on the rocks

Backers of the proposal – the White Rock Events Society – plan to call it quits

MAP: Christmas light displays in Surrey, Langley and beyond

Send us pictures of your National Lampoon-style lit-up homes, nativity scenes or North Pole playlands

Warning issued as forecast calls for 20-foot waves in Tofino

Dangerous waves, strong currents and upper-shoreline flooding expected for Tofino-Ucluelet area

An 800-pound pig named Theodore needs a forever home, B.C. society says

‘Theodore is not destined to be somebody’s bacon’

Teenager Alphonso Davies wins Canadian Men’s Soccer Player for the Year Award

Derek Cornelius and Chilliwack native, Jordyn Huitema were named Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

B.C. teen MMA fighter shows heart

Young Unity MMA competitors bring home Ws

2,000 Canadians died of an overdose in first 6 months of the year

New data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows the crisis is not subsiding

Another B.C. city votes to ban single-use plastic bags

First six months of proposed ban would focus on education, not enforcement

UK Prime Minister Theresa May wins party no-confidence vote, but troubles remain

May won the vote of 317 Conservative legislators with a 200-117 tally

Most Read