(From left) Delta firefighter Darren Zakrzewski, Delta Mayor George Harvie and Delta police Const. Ian Koropchuk pose for a photo in advance of the 2020 Battle of the Badges hockey game. This year’s game will take place on Pink Shirt Day, Wednesday, Feb. 26 at Sungod Arena. (Submitted photo)

Annual Battle of the Badges hockey game to combat bullying in Delta schools

This year’s Battle of the Badges takes place at Sungod Arena on Pink Shirt Day (Wednesday, Feb. 26)

The puck is set to drop later this month for the much-anticipated anti-bullying themed Battle of the Badges hockey game between the Delta Fire Department and Delta Police Department.

Now in its fifth year, Battle of the Badges supports Pink Shirt Day and its 2020 theme “Lift Each Other Up” by driving home the point that “although we may look different and fulfill different roles, it doesn’t mean one [person] is better than the other,” according to a release announcing this year’s event.

“Pink Shirt Day has chosen ‘Lift Each Other Up’ as this year’s focus, a simple but powerful message encouraging us to look beyond our differences and celebrate the things that make us unique. I challenge the community — young and old — to respect each other’s differences, encourage each other to be their best, and choose kindness every time,” Mayor George Harvie said in a press release.

This annual event, which is played in front of approximately 1,900 Grade 4-7 students from 16 Delta schools, is a collaboration between the Delta fire and police departments, the Delta School District and the City of Delta, all of which share in the belief that there is no room for bullying in our classrooms, workplaces or community.

“Although this game showcases a fun rivalry between police and fire, it also represents a very serious topic and has an important point. In an era where it can be common for people to tear each other down, this game is a good way to show a younger audience about why every act of kindness, even in a sporting event, helps make the world a better place. We can all use a little encouragement to Lift Each Other Up and celebrate our diversity,” DPD Chief Constable Neil Dubord said in a press release.

“Being different isn’t wrong, bad or weird,” added Delta Fire Chief Paul Scholfield. “If we were all the same and did the same things there would be significant gaps, not only in our community, but in the world. We need diversity. Battle of the Badges demonstrates we can be different and still appreciate who we are.”

With one in five students affected by bullying, Pink Shirt Day is an important reminder to practice kindness and compassion, as well as to promote anti-bullying and allowing people to be who they are.

“Our police officers and firefighters are important role models in our community and we are extremely grateful for the time they spend in our schools making positive connections with our students,” Delta school board chair Val Windsor said in a press release. “Battle of the Badges sets the stage for them to celebrate diversity and practice kindness, and — very importantly — demonstrates that they do not tolerate bullying.”

Battle of the Badges will take place on Pink Shirt Day (Wednesday, Feb. 26) at Sungod Arena, 7815 112th St., North Delta. The puck will drop at 10.25 a.m., with the teams playing two 20-minute periods, and at intermission, Delta Fire and DPD mascots Sparky the Fire Dog and Safety Bear will compete in a shoot-out contest.

RELATED: In their words: Lower Mainland students talk about bullying in today’s world

SEE ALSO: Delta police, firefighters fight bullying at annual Battle of the Badges hockey game



editor@northdeltareporter.com

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