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Richmond cosom floor hockey league celebrates partnership with local school

RCFHA and Burnett secondary go way back
Organizers of the RCFHA annual tournament (from left to right): Nicole Nagra, Nancy Jung, Farhaan Khan, Piradeepan Uthayakumar, and Tombert Chen

The Richmond Cosom Floor Hockey Association (RCFHA) is hoping to show Burnett secondary their appreciation for the school’s support of almost two decades.

RCFHA started holding its annual end-of-season tournament at Burnett in the early 2000s, after years of floating around various Richmond schools. The tournament has been a league staple since the 1970s.

For the uninitiated, Cosom hockey is a type of indoor hockey played with plastic sticks and an orange plastic puck.

“While Cosom has the same basic concepts of ice hockey and ball hockey, it also has many unique aspects that set it apart,” reads the RCFHA website.

“These differences make it a much more accessible sport to kids of all athletic skills and sports backgrounds as well as kids with no experience in sports at all.”

Jason Leslie, who was the principal at Burnett secondary at the time, had agreed to lend out the gym without a moment’s hesitation when approached by the RCFHA.

“I guess sometimes people worry about the gym floors getting a little beat up… But I’m a guy from a sports background, and I believe in using the facilities we have to let kids play,” he said, adding that doing so can allow kids to enjoy the benefits of physical activities and increase enrollment in the sport.

The league’s success boils down to the efforts of its volunteers and supporters such as Burnett, said RCFHA president Piradeepan Uthayakumar. And thanks to the stability of the Burnett venue, the league has been able to provide good opportunities for everyone to play.

“We’re a non-profit organization, so we need to be able to find a venue that allows us to stay the entire year. And that allows us to provide low-cost registrations for the kids and the adults,” he explained.

Uthayakumar told the Richmond News the school has gone above and beyond in supporting RCFHA by letting the league advertise in the school, and even lending them space to store equipment.

“They’ve been really, really good to us, and we wanted to return the favour.”

This weekend, and for the past 10 years, RCFHA will be showing its appreciation by making an annual donation of $1,000 at its end-of-season tournament to Burnett’s P.E. department.

And the appreciation is mutual.

“They’ve treated us very well there, too. I mean, we’ve certainly given them access, but they’ve given scholarship monies and stuff like that,” said Leslie.

“So I think it’s a great back and forth between the organization and the school, and I can’t see why it wouldn’t continue.”