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Battle of the Badges returns on Pink Shirt Day

Game will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at Sungod Arena in North Delta
Mayor George Harvie, Delta Police Chief Neil Dubord, left and Delta Fire Chief Guy McKintuck are getting ready for the Battle of the Badges to be held on Pink Shirt Day (Feb. 22) in North Delta.

Battle of the Badges, the epic hockey match between Delta Fire and the Delta Police, is set to return on Pink Shirt Day, Feb. 22, after a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

The aim of Battle of the Badges is to shine a spotlight on the need to “Stand Together” in support of anti-bullying.

The game takes place at the Sungod Recreation Centre in North Delta in front of 1,900 grade 4 to 7 students from the Delta School District and Tsawwassen First Nation. 

With one in five students affected by bullying, Pink Shirt Day is an important reminder for all of us to be kind, lift each other up, and to speak up for those who don’t have a voice. Through the Battle of the Badges hockey game, Delta’s police and firefighters hope to promote the importance of standing together against bullying and demonstrate that although we may look different or fulfill different roles, it doesn’t mean one is better than the other.

This annual event is a collaboration between police, fire, the City of Delta and school district.

“I'm pleased that the City of Delta is once again co-hosting the 2023 Battle of the Badges alongside the Delta School District, Delta Fire, and Delta Police to show our collective support for creating safe, respectful, and inclusive environments where bullying is not tolerated,” said Mayor George Harvie. “Together, let’s continue to lift each other up and strengthen our community through kindness today and every day. May the best team win!”

Police Chief Neil Dubord said it is a shared responsibility of all involved to lift each other up, celebrate our differences and practice kindness.

“I look forward to the 2023 Battle of the Badges as we celebrate the power of acceptance, kindness, and inclusion with our friends and partners from the City of Delta, Delta School District, and Delta Fire Department. Good luck to both teams,” he said.

Fire Chief Guy McKintuck said the Battle of the Badges provides a great opportunity to talk to kids about bullying.

“Most of us have felt bullied at least once in our lives,” he said. “The Battle of the Badges raises awareness of what bullying is, the negative impacts it has on the victim as well as the bully, and strategies to prevent or deal with bullying. When the puck drops on Feb. 22, please make a commitment to Lift Each Other Up this Pink Shirt Day, and all year round.”

School board chair Val Windsor said the district is thrilled the event is returning this year.

“The event provides a great opportunity to build community spirit and camaraderie,” said Windsor. “It’s great for students to see our local heroes stand together to encourage kindness, empathy and understanding, and most importantly, to offer support to those who are being bullied.”

Joining in the fun will be local mascots including Safety Bear (Delta Police Department), Flash the Fire Dog (Delta Fire & Emergency Services), Jack the Giant (Vancouver Giants) and Del the Hawk (Delta Ice Hawks).