Cst. Terry Parmar is no stranger to youth programming. When he was younger, he started to hang out with people who were having a negative influence on him. His dad, who was a janitor at Hastings Community Centre, pushed him into volunteering there. This was in the late 90s.
Terry met a youth worker named Paul S. during his time there. Paul ran a very popular floor hockey program, which was discontinued after he left. Despite reticence from the staff, who were keen on the volleyball program, Terry worked with local schools to set up the hockey program. They started with 25 kids, which grew to 105 by the time Terry left.
The program was more than just hanging out on Friday afternoons. It was about having a place where the youth belonged. Many of the participants were first-generation Canadians, and playing floor hockey helped them feel connected to their country and their community. Mentorship and positive role modelling was a core program component. Terry notes that some of the program participants have since become VPD officers themselves, and another is a medical doctor. He believes that this program, and others like it, help young people get on and stay on the right path.
Last year, Terry went back to District Two, where Hastings Community Centre is located. He was keen to give back to the neighbourhood where he first got started on his path. As it turns out, the youth worker there had participated in Terry’s hockey program and was keen to work with Terry to set up another one! Terry himself believes it’s important to build relationships with members of the community – especially now. The last few months have been very difficult, but Terry has taken strength from the positive messages he has received from youth he works with, and adults he has helped to mentor. They know what he and hundreds of other VPD members like him do for the community.
The VPF was proud to fund this floor hockey program and hopes that they can get it up and running in the fall, with appropriate procedures to deal with COVID-19. To fund programs like this, please click here.
Cst. Terry Parmar is not only a multiple grant recipient of VPF funding for several different programs in Vancouver; he was the recipient of the Canaccord Genuity Community Champion award in 2017.