Wanting to give back to “a community which gave me so much,” Surinder Grewal is launching a program aimed at troubled youth in Surrey.
Through the 25,000-sq.-ft. B.C. Prep Academy, which will open next month, the Queen Elizabeth Secondary graduate will launch TEAM, a non-profit program offering to assist youth.
“The TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More) Foundation will help to create opportunities to aspiring youth, with specific funding for low-income and at-risk youth,” said Grewal. “I’ve lived in Surrey for 30 years and I want nothing more than to give back to a community that gave me so much.”
Grewal said he was influenced by a teacher and coach at Queen Elizabeth to pursue an education. He was a standout basketball player with the Queen Elizabeth Royals, earning two Most Valuable Player awards while leading the team to the all-Surrey RCMP Classic championship in 1997 and 1998.
He played two years with the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Eagles before moving on to the University of Calgary, where he became a Canada West All-Star and earned a degree in economics and a diploma in accounting.
In 2007, he and partner Aman Heran – a teammate in Calgary and a former North Delta Huskies high school player – launched the Athelite Basketball Academy, which grew to include 1,000 members.
The new B.C. Prep Academy, at 15358 67 Ave., will feature high-performance programs in basketball, volleyball and soccer.
“I wanted a central location and to offer more sports,” said Grewal. “Surrey doesn’t have an academy with high-performance sports programs.”
Through TEAM, bursaries will be made available to low income youth and programs created for at-risk children. The more experienced athletes enrolled in the programs will be encouraged to mentor the younger members.
“I spoke to a friend at (Surrey School District’s) Safe Schools program, and he said it would work,” said Grewal.
Still under construction, the B.C. Prep Academy is targeting a July opening.