The School Sports Program
When he was a general duty police officer, RCMP Cpl. Kevin Krygier saw the issues that police and communities were dealing with every day — kids getting involved in drugs, gangs and bullying.
Krygier believed that the Richmond RCMP could better connect students in the School District by engaging youth through sports, deterring their involvement in crime and promoting pro-social behaviours. In 2012, he implemented the School Sports Program, spending countless volunteer hours getting this program up and running, forming a partnership with the Richmond School District, the Rick Hansen Foundation, and community “Ambassadors”. Ambassadors have included a number of local Olympic and Paralympic athletes as well as prominent members of the community.
The goal of the School Sports Program is to help students build positive relationship with police, and supports the RCMP’s national strategic priority related to and the Richmond RCMP’s strategic policing plan. The program provides local youth with the opportunity to play sports with police officers they might not otherwise interact with and also helps police officers and, otherwise sedentary youth, get physically active. RCMP members and the students square off in a friendly sporting activity, such as floor hockey, basketball and volleyball while other children and school faculty cheer them on in a show of school and community spirit. The environment is both positive and exciting for all who are involved. Students often talk about this program with a lot of positive comments.
In 2015, the School Sports Program started a pilot program at two elementary and two secondary schools. The program has elementary school students, mentored by local secondary school kids and supported by RCMP members and community ambassadors, take on a “Difference Maker Project.” The program engages and empowers students to make a positive difference in their community and to prevent youth involvement in crime. The School Sports Program and the Difference Makers Projects are inspiring hundreds of local youth and many members of the community and is an example of how sport can help to bridge differences and influence in young lives and strengthen ties with youth in the community.
The School Sports Program and the Difference Maker project were featured in a recent issue of the RCMP Gazette:"Vaccinating kids against crime"
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