History of the Children’s Games
In the spring of 1985 Durham Regional Police Constable Stew Giffin proposed his vision to host an annual sporting event for children between the ages of 6 and 16 with various physical disabilities. In consultation with the Chief of Police, Jon Jenkins, the Mayor of Pickering, Jack Anderson, and a number of volunteer committee members, Giffin perfected his vision.
Giffin and his committee prescribed guidelines for the Games and concluded that the day-long event would be held in the Fall to complement a similar event hosted by the Toronto Police Service that occurred each Spring.
As community partnership is recognized as an essential part of the Games, Giffin and his committee approached City of Pickering Counsel to utilize the Pickering Recreation Complex as the Game’s home. As approval was granted through a unanimous vote and a 25+ year relationship was forged.
The daylong event continues to take place at the Pickering Recreation Complex with the majority of children participating through the cooperation of Campbell’s Children’s School and Grandview Children’s Centre. Each year 50-100 kids attend the Games with their guardians and participate in a number of sporting events as guided by their volunteer team leaders.
With volunteerism playing a pivotal role in the operation of the Games, Durham Regional Police members and community members are recruited to assist with this event.
The Games commence with an elaborate presentation consisting of guest speakers, local dignitaries, and police officials. Athletes are introduced, being escorted in to the banquet hall by their respective team volunteers. The Chief of Police (or designate), alongside the top male and top female athlete open the Games with the cutting of a ceremonial ribbon.
Each team is escorted from event to event, participating in basketball, moonball, golf, and wheelchair rugby. Members of the Oshawa Generals Hockey Club, Pickering Panthers Hockey Club, accomplished athletes, and other community members attend to provide support to the Games many talented children.
The Games celebrated 30 years in 2014, introducing a new visual identity while improving many of the processes and events of the past. In 2006, we received the City Of Pickering “Access Award For Disability Issues” and continued our success in 2016 when we received the David C. Onley Award for Leadership in Accessibility; Champion Award!