Pitch Perfect Partnership

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 11:50 a.m. July 25, 2017

Hasan Mwad didn’t know what to expect when he showed up for the 33 Division annual soccer clinic on July 22.

A line of children in front of a net
Younger kids takes shots on a keeper at the clinic

It didn’t take long for the Georges Vanier Secondary School Grade 11 student to be impressed.

“This is well organized and it’s nice to see police officers without uniforms in a relaxed mood and giving back to the community,” Mwad said. “I like that and I could see I am going to enjoy this.”

He was among nearly 50 youths who attended the “Bridging the Gap” clinic at Parkway Forrest Greenspace.

Bridging the Gap Soccer Clinic

The event was for young people between seven and 18.

Superintendent Randy Carter addressed the youths before kick-off.

“Have fun, be safe and make a new friend before you leave here,” he told the participants. “It is important you meet somebody you didn’t know before you came here, as you might very well run into them again on the soccer field.”

Members of the TPS soccer team, who will take part in next month’s World Police & Fire Games in Los Angeles, helped conduct the clinic.

“It is nice to get kids out to appreciate the game’s fundamentals,” said 55 Division Detective Lee Rinkoff. “It’s also great to use soccer to bridge the gap between police and the communities we serve.”

Staff Sergeant Anthony Charles started the clinic a few years ago.

“I just wanted to give back and let the kids come out and have some fun during the summer. The sport is fairly inexpensive as 22 players can play with one ball.”

Each participant was given a ball to take away after the clinic,  sponsored by ProAction Cops & Kids with support from Second Kicks.

A boys kicks a soccer ball upward
A boy plays keep-up during the event
TPS crest watermark