Heading into its 12th year, the Jordy Rasode soccer competition kicks off this weekend.
Anyone dropping by Newton Athletic Park (7395 128 St.) on June 16 and 17 will see some top class U-21 soccer.
In addition to soccer skills, the tournament also aims to teach youth the value of an active and drug-free lifestyle through a weekend of sport, fun, food, lessons on teamwork and tips on staying safe.
The tournament was created a dozen years ago by Surrey’s Rasode family after two male relatives – Ranbir and Bahadur – succumbed to heart conditions, both passing away while playing hockey.
Using a soccer tournament to raise awareness of heart disease and to raise funds for research was an idea inspired by a comment from Ranbir’s son, Jordy.
When he was told of his dad’s passing, one of the first things he asked was, “who’s going to coach the soccer team?”
As the profile of the tournament grew, more youth became involved, and organizers wanted to pass on the message speaking against drugs and gang culture, which was beginning to have a big impact on Indo-Canadian youth.
Liberal MLA for Vancouver-Fraserview Kash Heed will be on hand this weekend to deliver a message to youth.
Over the years, the tournament has raised more than $25,000 for various charities, including the Heart and Stroke Foundation of B.C., the Autism Society of British Columbia, Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation, BC Children’s Hospital Foundation and Peace Arch Hospital Foundation.
This year, the Surrey Food Bank will be the beneficiary.