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

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

‘Do or die’ time for Whalley, who fell in first game of Little League World Series

Team Canada goes down to powerful Panama in Williamsport, plays Spain Saturday

Air quality advisory continues in the Lower Mainland

Smoke from Interior fires brings fine particulate

TONIGHT: Grand finale of Concerts at the Pier

East Beach event set to begin at 7 p.m.

VIDEO: Surrey to host Western Regional Quidditch Championship in 2019

The fictional game in the Harry Potter series has become popular around the world, with 600 athletes in Canada alone

Island swimmer halts journey across Strait of Juan de Fuca after hypothermia sets in

Victoria MS athlete Susan Simmons swam for eight-and-a-half hours in 9 C choppy waters

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights can be misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

Trudeau will end the day in his home riding of Papineau

Vancouver Whitecaps give up late goal in 2-2 draw with New York Red Bulls

Four of Vancouver’s next five games are at home

B.C. man designer behind Canucks’ retro jersey

Jeremie White was 20 years old when he told Canucks assistant GM Brian Burke he had a design

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Most Read