THIS Pink Shirt Day — February 28 —over 1,600 grade 5-7 students will fill Sungod Arena for the third annual Battle of the Badges, a collegial hockey game between the Delta Fire Department and Delta Police Department built around celebrating diversity and unity in that diversity.
Delta Police Chief Neil Dubord explains: “Battle of The Badges is a fun way for Delta Police and Fire to showcase the values of camaraderie and teamwork for students in the community. Delta Police and Delta Fire may look different, and perform different roles, but together we are committed to keeping our community safe. We each fulfill a unique purpose, together making a difference in our community.”
“The Battle of the Badges has become a wonderful annual tradition that unites our diverse community through sportsmanship,” says Delta Mayor Lois E. Jackson. “As an awareness campaign, it has done a fantastic job of showing our community leaders working together to demonstrate compassion and teamwork as a way to combat bullying.”
This event is a collaboration of Delta Fire and Police Departments, Delta School District, City of Delta, and the Delta Police Foundation. It is the collective belief of the partners involved that there is no room for bullying in our classrooms, our workplaces or our community and this is a creative approach that will have significant impact on promoting the themes of inclusion, equity, and empathy.
Delta Fire Chief Dan Copeland says: “To get good at something takes practice. If you want to be good at the guitar – you practice. If you want to be good at hockey – you practice. The same goes for kindness and caring – practice being kind to those around you every day and get good at it. Every act of kindness is a strength that will make help make the world around you a better place.”
Fifteen Delta schools will have the unique opportunity to cheer on the local police and fire departments, all in the spirit of inclusion and anti-bullying. Joining in the fun will be local mascots Del from the Delta Ice Hawks, Sparky the DFD firedog, DPD Safety Bear, Jack the Vancouver Giant, and Bob the Vancouver Canadians Brown Bear. Also making an appearance will be Delta’s favourite DPD Canine —Caber!
Pink Shirt Day (www.pinkshirtday.ca) has chosen cyber-bullying as this year’s focus, and the hashtag #NiceNeedsNoFilter will be used to help share the message of anti-bullying online.
“Pink Shirt Day is an opportunity for our learners to come together in celebration of diversity. This event is a great reminder to our students of inclusion and respect of their peers, not just for today, but each and every day of the year,” says Doug Sheppard, Superintendent of Schools, Delta School District.
The puck drops at Sungod Arena on February 28 at 10:30 a.m.