Service volunteers leapt at the chance to play with Variety Village athletes at the 35th annual Toronto Police Children’s Games.
Civilian and uniform members took part in the Games, which included opening and closing ceremonies and a variety of sporting events at Variety Village, where fitness programs and skills training are offered, including people with physical or intellectual disabilities.
Staff Sergeant Kim O’Toole said kids and officers alike look forward to the day.
“It has evolved into a wonderful community tradition that the participants in these games look forward to all year long,” O’Toole said. “They come here every year because it’s a day of inclusivity, it is a day that we don’t recognize disabilities but we recognize their abilities. These games are all about being a team together.”
“It’s a really wonderful experience that our members are excited and we max out our volunteers every year. We have to say no to people because there is no room for them and that’s really a testament of the spirit of the Toronto Police Service coming together with our community,” O’Toole said.
The athletes also had the opportunity to meet police, fire, and paramedic services first responders and take a look inside their vehicles.
Staff Sergeant James Hung said Variety Village is a special place for his family, as his seven-year-old daughter Elena is visually impaired.
“This facility means a great deal to her and she’ll be using it quite a bit in the future as well,” Hung said, noting it’s great to see his fellow Service members see the value in Variety Village. “Personally this day means a great deal to me.”