DIVERSITY WINS: Abbotsford’s Indo-Canadian Dominated Rick Hansen Basketball Team Wins BC Championship

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banners website 2View-From-Valley-Ken-HerarThe Indo-Canadian dominated Rick Hansen Senior Secondary boys basketball team from Abbotsford earned its first gold medal, winning a provincial title March 11 at the Langley Events Centre last weekend. It's ironic that a  school which has often been criticized for its diversity, wins a provincial championship because of it. Every member of this team, except for one of the coaches, is Indo-Canadian-South Asian.

Brand-D-Media-new-001View-From-Valley-Ken-Herar2By Ken Herar

ABBOTSFORD – The Indo-Canadian dominated Rick Hansen Senior Secondary boys basketball team from Abbotsford earned its first gold medal, winning a provincial title March 11 at the Langley Events Centre last weekend.

It's ironic that a  school which has often been criticized for its diversity, wins a provincial championship because of it.

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, is Indo-Canadian-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.

View-From-Valley-Ken-Herar6Some 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-Indo-Canadian 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.”

banners website 1Eugene 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.

View-From-Valley-Ken-Herar3Ken “Kulwinder” Herar is a Mission-based writer and a winner of the champions of diversity award for his columns in the LINK newspaper and other Fraser Valley newspapers. Herar can be reached atkenherar@gmail.com or view his blog at http://www.kenherar.blogspot.com

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