Jimmy Ng hockey tourney marks 10-year anniversary

It's been nearly a decade since Richmond RCMP Const. Jimmy Ng was killed during a tragic street racing crash, but the road safety message behind the annual memorial ball hockey tournament established in his memory remains just as relevant today.

"It's a message we can never stop relaying," said Richmond RCMP Sgt. Kate Hansen, one of the event's organizers.

With this weekend's tourney being the 10th annual, organizers have decided that the event should return to its grassroots message.

Unlike in years past, this year's tournament will be held at Thompson Community Centre, giving the event much greater visibility, and more space in which to deliver the road safety message that's been missing in recent years.

The construction of a new condo complex next to tournament's former home in the lacrosse box in Steveston meant space and visibility from the street have been hard to come by.

And so the decision was made to relocate and go old school, Hansen said, with the continued support of the five key founding organizations: Richmond RCMP, Steveston Harbour Authority, Rotary Club of Steveston, the Auxiliary Coast Guard, and The Richmond Review.

"We simply ran out of room in Steveston," Hansen said. The lack of space led to the cancellation of safety day last year.

Thompson community centre delivers on wide open spaces and gives greater exposure to the message organizers are hoping to deliver to the entire community.

It was less than two weeks ago that two teenage brothers were killed in a single vehicle crash that investigators suspect involved speed, alcohol and driver inexperience.

"We had a very horrible tragedy in the last two weeks, which brings it right back. It's been 10 years since Jimmy died, and we're still having to get that message out there."

Saturday, May 26 is Safety Day, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Richmond Fire-Rescue, the B.C. Ambulance Service, the RCMP's emergency response team, and the RCMP's dog section will be participating.

New this year is the involvement of WorkSafeBC, which employs 3,000 people.

The Insurance Corporation of B.C. will have a crash car display, while the D.A.R.E. vehicle will be delivering the drug and alcohol awareness message.

"We can't stop sending that message out," Hansen said.

The day will begin with opening ceremonies at 9 a.m., followed by a pancake breakfast, and then a barbecue in the afternoon.

The 14-team hockey tournament begins at 9 a.m., with games running through 4 p.m. on Saturday, and games resuming at 9 a.m. on Sunday and concluding at 5 p.m.

Games will take place on both the lacrosse court and basketball court.

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