THE Rasode family lost their two young sons to heart disease while both were in their early 30s, and the pain is still very strong years later.
Both of Major Rasode’s brothers were athletes, active in hockey, soccer and kabaddi, so it came as a surprise when the Rasode family had to deal with losing first Bahadur in 1998 and then Ranbir in 2000. Ranbir left behind three children. Major Rasode had to explain the painful news to his young nephew Jordy.
What started 13 years ago as a 14-team junior soccer invitational has now grown to an over 50-team community event for all ages and skill levels. Major organizes teams, food and promotions on an impressive scale. Whether you are a player, sponsor, parent or just a spectator, the tournament provides free pizza, hot dogs, pops and Indian food. Every athlete gets a free t-shirt, and there are always trophies and prizes for the winners.
The generosity of Tony Singh (Fruiticana), Nav Bains (Medisave pharmacy) and Kulwinder Sanghera (Red FM) and other sponsors have made the tournament successful, says Major Rasode.
The Jordy Rasode Invitational is more than a memorial to two well-loved young men. The main goal of the tournament is to help keep Indo-Canadian youth away from the drugs and gangs that threaten the community.
The tournament has seen appearances from Attorney General Wally Oppal, Surrey Mayor Diane Watts, Kash Heed, Jazzy B and Provincial Court Justice Ken Ball to speak to the children about the consequences of drugs and gangs.
On top of being a positive community event, the tournament has allowed the Rasodes to contribute to other charities through fundraising.
“In the first couple of years, we focused the fundraising and awareness on heart disease. The Rasode family has been able to contribute to other important charities as well,” says Major Rasode.
To date, they have fundraised over $60,000 for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, along with several thousand for the Autism Society, Surrey Hospital, Peace Arch Hospital BC Children’s Hospital, Surrey Food Bank and other local charities.
The Jordy Rasode Invitational takes place this year on June 7 and 8 at Surrey’s Newton Athletic Park and they always welcome more volunteers and spectators.
For more information, Major Rasode can be reached at [email protected] or call 604-910-3272.