Connecting with our community: Expanded Burnaby RCMP Soccer Camps for youth return this summer
2022-07-20 09:32 PDT
Burnaby RCMP’s popular youth soccer camps are returning this summer, with the expanded camps allowing more kids than ever before to take part.
Burnaby RCMP has been holding the camps since 2017, when Cst. Kwame Amoateng first gathered a small group local kids in the Edmonds area as a way to connect with youth at a grassroots level in a sports-based environment.
The camps have grown every year since (with the exception of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic). This year Burnaby RCMP expects to host 150 kids aged eight to 13-years-old during three camps taking place at Edmonds Park (July 26-28), Confederation Park (August 9-11), and Bonsor Park (August 23-25).
Burnaby RCMP saw unprecedented demand from the community for the camps again this year, receiving more than 300 applications for about 150 spots for local youth. This year, priority was given to applicants referred to the camps from other community organizations. Each of the three camps, which are free for participants, will host about 50 kids.
We continue to see huge demand for these camps from our community here in Burnaby. The camps provide a special and unique opportunity for kids and for the Burnaby RCMP staff, including the officers and municipal employees, who support the camp by taking on skills, coaching and educational roles, said Insp. Kathy Hartwig , Burnaby RCMP’s Officer In Charge of Community Programs.
Our staff do this based on their desire to interact and work with youth in a positive way.
The camps primarily revolve around soccer skills and teamwork, with Burnaby RCMP employees serving as coaches, but also include an educational component to encourage positive decision making.
These camps continue to break barriers, building a stronger community and nurturing important relationships between Burnaby RCMP and young people by connecting through sport in a fun atmosphere, Hartwig added.
Attendees at this year’s camps will once again be getting some expert instruction. Burnaby RCMP Youth Section Officer, Cst. Dave Morris, who played professional soccer with the Vancouver Whitecaps from 1999 to 2007 before starting his policing career will serve as a coach for the second year in a row.
Sport has the power to unite people, Morris said.
It was rewarding last year to hear from kids about their experience at the camps and what it was like for them to interact with police in this unique setting. We are looking forward to creating more positive experiences for kids this year.
Burnaby RCMP Soccer Camps are made possible through a civil forfeiture grant and assistance from The City of Burnaby, which also provides field time. Burnaby RCMP is also appreciative of the youth volunteers who lend their time to help on the field.
Youth, including outreach and engagement, is one of the RCMP’s five strategic priorities, and is also one the priority objectives set in Burnaby RCMP’s 2022-2023 Annual Performance Plan.
Cpl. Michael KalanjMedia Relations Officer
6355 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby, BC, V5G 2J2
Website: burnaby.rcmp-grc.gc.ca (English only)
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