The Rick Hansen boys basketball team won the provincials in March at the Langley Events Centre. (Abbotsford News file photo)

Abbotsford’s Rick Hansen basketball championship a win for team and diversity

Triple A squad made up entirely of South Asian players

On the Spot by Ken Herar

Congratulations to the Rick Hansen Senior Secondary boys basketball team, which earned its first gold medal, winning a provincial title March 11 at the Langley Events Centre.

Abbotsford has a long history of many winning championship teams. But this recent victory at the B.C. AAA Boys Basketball Championship was unique and historic and sends a strong message to the community that our diversity is our common strength.

So what was so different about this victory? Every member of this team, except for one of the coaches, was South Asian.

To the best of my knowledge, I don’t think there has ever been a B.C. high school team in any sport such as this one.

Some may say it’s no big deal, they’re just kids, while others may say there is definitely a lack of diversity in basketball. Still others might say nothing at all.

I guess the point I am trying to make here is our South Asian youth at times take a bad rap for the actions of a few. But here is a prime example in front of us of how our next generation of diverse leaders will lead our community on and off the court in the future.

Assistant coach Bo Sidhu said, “It was great to see a group of boys set a goal of winning a B.C. championship. These boys worked hard all season to achieve that goal. They had a never-quit attitude, no matter what the score was.

“To watch these boys become young men throughout the season was a satisfying experience for me. Too often many of the boys on the west side of Abbotsford are associated with being involved in negative activities.

“We very rarely acknowledge all the students that are doing amazing things in: athletics, academics, citizenship and community service. I was very proud to be a part of this amazing journey by this team, something our entire community can be extremely proud of.”

Tomorrow (April 13), at Rotary Stadium, the Valley Royals Vaisakhi Festival Track and Field Meet is being held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bring your kids and participate in a wide range of field events: high jump, long jump and shot put, just to name of a few.

The fully sanctioned meet includes a cultural lunch and dancing. Admission is free, but for those who may want to participate in activities there is a $5 registration fee.

Raja Grewal, a locally born and raised realtor, is a silver sponsor of the event and said, “I love this city and I am happy to support initiatives and programs such as this that allow for unity, positive relationships, and healthy lifestyle choices. By encouraging and supporting our youth, we are collectively making this a better place for us all to live, work and play.”

Eugene Reimer Middle School, McMillan Elementary and Bradner Elementary have made a unique partnership for this school year.

With the goal of getting to know others in our city, two Grade 6 classes and a Grade 3 class have all come together.

The partnership will be culminating in the next two weeks with Bradner and McMillan coming to Eugene Reimer Middle to witness the Vaisakhi celebration.

Also, Bradner and Eugene Reimer Middle are looking forward to going horseback riding together.

I have been asked to attend these upcoming events and congratulate the staff and students on their efforts to further intercultural dialogue within our youth.

Kenherar@gmail.com