It was a spirited but friendly baseball game between the Langley RCMP and Aldergrove Community Secondary School (ACSS) students Wednesday afternoon.
The final score matched that of last year’s game, 10-9 for the Mounties, but the most important part of it was building positive relationships between the police and students in this community.
“We think it’s important that the kids feel that the RCMP are ordinary people,” said ACSS behaviour program worker Dianne Saumier.
“Look at them (out on the baseball pitch), they’re totally engaged.”
Daumier and fellow workers Kari Pole and Brooklyn Sherrard, along with Advance program teamher Jake Tymos all participated in the event, which was held in the Harry Hunt Fields next to the school, under a hot sun. Fred West, a social worker from Langley Family Services also participated in the umpiring as well as running the hot dog and refreshment stand in the shade of a tree.
The interaction with the RCMP began last year with a baseball game and went so well that it as followed up with an indoor soccer game between the ACSS students and RCMP members last fall.
It came out of the Aldergrove Community Consultative Group founded here by the RCMP to each out to the community. Poole has been attending the group’s meetings and working to organize the events such as the sports games.
The students, from Grades 9 through 12, happily signed on to the ball team of their own choosing. Many of them participate in other events and activities such as the school’s Breakfast Club, which serves 60 to a hundred kids each school day. The participating students help with washing dishes, planning and serving the meals.
The students also participated in the Wellness Week activities last November.
“We’re not all the same but we all have to work together,” said Saumier.
“We’ve seen huge improvements, it’s amazing to watch the kids grow and succeed.”