Two students from Cambie secondary are inviting community members to "play for hope" in an upcoming charity pickleball tournament.
Grade 12 students Jed Tan and Joar Hussain are hosting the tournament on Jan. 28 where community members will get to enjoy a day of active fun and raise funds to benefit the Canadian Cancer Society.
"Our goal is to raise awareness (for cancer) and help people feel more hopeful," said Hussain.
A total of 64 players will be participating in the tournament with 15 volunteers helping out on the day. The event will also feature a raffle and community members will be able to pay tribute to loved ones and share inspirational messages on a "Wall of Hope."
Tan and Hussain were inspired to hold a charity pickleball tournament for their class assignment, which requires them to pursue a project to give back to the community, after speaking to teacher Linda Wong.
Wong, an avid pickleball player and a sponsor teacher for the event, said it was "an amazing idea" when she heard her students looking to raise money and awareness for cancer as she has personally lost three sisters to the disease.
Sign-ups for the event were opened to members of the Richmond BC Pickleball Association last month and later to the community, as spots quickly filled up within two weeks.
"We are so encouraged and so amazed that so many people wanted to come and support as well as join this tournament. The amount of support that we have also gotten from teachers and friends through this process was also pretty amazing," said Tan.
The students are hoping to create a legacy by leaving behind an annual tournament.
"We're hoping that the students from Cambie will take the initiative to continue this," said Hussain, adding that he hopes to encourage younger students to make a difference in the community.
The students also want to introduce pickleball to more Richmond students, as they had not heard of the sport before Wong introduced it to them.
Wong told the Richmond News that she has enjoyed working with Tan and Hussain for the event.
"They're eager, they're kind and they're hardworking. So that's all I could ask for," she said.
The "Play for Hope" tournament will be held on Jan. 28, 2023 at Cambie secondary. The tournament aims to raise $2,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society and so far it has already received more than $1,600.
For community members who wish to support the cause, donations can be made on the Canadian Cancer Society's website with a note for the donations to go to "Team Inspired Relay for Life," which is Wong's team for the Relay for Life fundraiser.