Enjoying basketball and kabaddi
Sports play such an important role in bringing people together and that is why we recognize the value of organized sports in our communities. We owe a great deal to our community athletes, parents/guardians, families, and volunteer coaches, and community club volunteers.
I want to cite two examples that left a wonderful impression on me that I believe should be recognized. Last month, I had the opportunity to spend the day at the Philippine Basketball Association’s Canada Regional Tournament in Toronto. It was a lot of fun being able to join and watch some amazing basketball players from and ambassadors of Manitoba as they represented Winnipeg and Steinbach on a national level.
Throughout the day, we cheered, ate great barbecue, and watched our teams win many games throughout the various age groups and tournaments. I personally really enjoyed being able to see the connections in the multiple generations of families participating in the tournament. There were fathers, daughters, brothers, sisters, nephews, cousins, etc. demonstrating how basketball is a way of bringing family together. I also learned that the PBA has been growing in Manitoba since 2002 — 20 years — and that Winnipeg brings the biggest delegation to the national PBA tournament in the country.
I am very excited to be able to share that Winnipeg will be hosting this national annual tournament in 2024. Manitoba’s PBA engages hundreds of players every year, and commissioner Manny Aranez and his dedicated team of volunteers brings life to basketball for so many families here in Manitoba.
My second example is kabaddi, a popular sport in South Asia that is becoming more popular and recognized here in Canada. This is evident by the thousands of people who showed up more than once in the Maples to watch.
Kabaddi is a team sport played between two teams of seven players. The objective of the game is for a single player on offence to run into the opposing team, touch out as many of their defenders as possible, and return to their own half of the court, without being tackled by the defenders.
I was delighted to watch a couple of big kabaddi tournaments at Maples Community Centre this summer and witness the thousands of people who came out to watch. It was also very neat to learn about my uncles who use to play kabaddi. In India, there is a women’s kabaddi team.
Kabaddi and basketball, two totally different sports, share a lot in common as they fully engage dedicated volunteers, athletes and more. They bring a sense of pride and provide enjoyment for thousands. Sports bring significant value to our society and all levels of government need to recognize that and support them.
Tyndall Park constituency report
Cindy Lamoureux is the Liberal MLA for Tyndall Park.