Submitted by Steven Lorenzo Baileys, Community Development Coordinator
ICA was pleased to support and be part of a unique community building event that brought members from our region’s police and Muslim communities to have fun, get to know one another, and share an afternoon of playing soccer.
ICA is a long-time member of the Greater Victoria Police Diversity Advisory Committee (GVPDAC). The GVPDAC works to improve trust and understanding between police and the diverse communities they serve. Collaborating with the Masjid Al-Iman Mosque, ICA was a key part of the working group that organized this first time community soccer event.
The afternoon started with players attending the Masjid Al-Iman Mosque for the opening remarks. Victoria Police Chief Del Manak and City Councillour Geoff Young welcomed the players and spoke about the value of sport as a way to bring communities and police together. Afterwards, the more than 80 male and female players spilled out onto the fields and a local gym to play on combined teams in a round robin mini-soccer tournament. Players competed, laughed, scored goals, sweated, blocked kicks and celebrated together. Imam Ismail Mohamed Nur of the Masjid Al-Iman spoke about the impact of this event: “The Mosque was very delighted to both have been part of the organizing of this event as well as participating in it. We hope to continue to build bridges between different parts of our community, and promote a greater level of understand between police and our community.”
Following the soccer event, the players, along with their families and friends, gathered for a tasty lunch of BBQ’d burgers hosted at the Mosque. Thank you to the police for exchanging police uniforms for shorts and cleats to score goals and build community. To view more photos of the event, please click here.