Published March 25, 2018 16:51
It’s a learning opportunity disguised as a chance for some young Winnipeggers to show off their skills.
The Winnipeg Boys and Girls Clubs Invitational Basketball Tournament included dozens of kids grabbing their court shoes and hitting the hardwood against some stiff competition.
Sunday’s grand finale — a game against the Winnipeg Police Service squad — saw officers take on youth from various clubs across the city.
It was a competitive game decided by just three points. But according to a WPS Patrol Sergeant, it wasn’t about the basketball.
“It’s more about coming out and interacting with the kids and being part of the community,” Kevin Smith said. “It’s letting people know the police are humans.
“It’s a good bridge to build with these kids.”
The game is a three year tradition in the name of community outreach and teamwork.
“We’re here and we’re approachable,” Smith said. “If kids need help, I want them to know they can come to me.”
Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg CEO Ron Brown also spoke of the benefits the weekend’s tournament offers.
“We invest money in getting kids to games and training our coaches,” Brown said. “[The kids] want to be in organized sports and see how good they really are, so we make that happen.
“It’s just another opportunity for them to develop their potential.”
The tournament took place at St. Paul’s High School.