VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A Vancouver police officer and founder of the Kids Play Youth Foundation is a finalist in a North American soccer contest that could help him continue to provide free soccer for underprivileged children in the Lower Mainland – and he needs all the votes he can get.
Kal Dosanjh was nominated by the Vancouver Whitecaps for the Major League Soccer WORKS Community MVP, a contest that recognizes people who set an example in their community and use soccer to make a positive impact. Each of the 24 MLS teams have picked one nominee, and the public will decide who wins.
The grand prize is $25,000 to the charity of the winner’s choosing. Dosanjh picked his own charity, which uses soccer to steer kids away from drugs and gangs.
“It’s absolutely amazing. It’s a rush,” Dosanjh said of his nomination. “It’ll go right into the pool and help us market ourselves a lot better [and] get the word out to parents who could truly use our programs.”
Dosanjh, now a senior detective in the VPD’s financial crime unit, started running programs for kids on the Downtown Eastside when he was still a patrol officer in 2005. Since its establishment in 2015, Kids Play has provided soccer programming and expanded into other sports including basketball, cricket and wrestling.
Online voting runs until July 31 at 12 p.m. and the winner will be selected during the opening ceremonies of the All Star Game on Wednesday.