The annual Surrey RCMP Basketball Classic has to be described as a slam-dunk success.
This tournament was born in 1992, with an aim to get police and high school students in Grades 9 to 12 interacting in a positive way.
It takes the edge off of how some young people might view the cops, and encourages wholesome battles on the basketball courts as opposed to unwholesome behaviour that could land some otherwise misguided teenagers in a different court, and before a judge, not a referee.
This weekend, Surrey was treated to some top-level basketball, with Lord Tweedsmuir defeating Tamanawis for bragging rights in the senior division final.
This year, 48 senior and junior Surrey teams played to win at the Classic. That’s almost 700 teenagers playing in 87 games this past week. It’s become a big, important event for young players.
Which makes us wonder – what will become of the Surrey RCMP Basketball Classic, which hopes to celebrate its 30th year in 2022, once a city police force replaces the RCMP in Surrey?
Does anyone know?
“That’s a very good question,” Surrey RCMP Constable Richard Wright, a spokesman for the detachment, told the Now-Leader on Monday. “I don’t have a firm answer for you. No, I don’t think anyone at this point knows what would happen to this tournament should Surrey switch to a municipal police force.”
“It’s wonderful,” Wright said of the Classic. “It’s got great engagement for youth, and their families, and for the community as a whole, and it would be a shame to see an institution like this, that has almost 30 years of development in the community, fall by the wayside.”
Well said, we say. And you don’t have to be a Mountie, a teenager, or a journalist to agree.
This kind of success speaks for itself. It would be tragic if Surrey loses the Classic.