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'Making his legacy come alive': Ball hockey tournament honours fallen B.C. RCMP Const. Rick O’Brien

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Dozens gathered at a rink in Maple Ridge, B.C., on Saturday to play in a ball hockey tournament in honour of fallen B.C. RCMP Const. Rick O’Brien.

About five years ago, Rick and his wife Nicole dreamed up a tournament with law enforcement and youth playing on the same teams as a way to build bridges between first responders and young people.

“When he passed away it was something I knew that I wanted to bring to fruition to honour him and share with everybody, so it could showcase what kind of guy he was,” she told CTV News.

In all, about 165 youth between the ages of six and 18 came out to compete, along with 65 police officers, 16 firefighters—who played as goalies—and paramedics. Around 120 volunteers made helped the big day happen.

The Const. Rick O’Brien Joint Forces Hockey Jamboree is a fundraiser for the non-profit founded in his name, the Joint Forces Foundation, which Nicole plans to organize every year, along with other activities focused on bringing law enforcement and youth together.

Nicole said she had support from the Ridge Meadows RCMP detachment every step of the way in making Rick’s vision come to life. “People just want to be involved in giving back and making something good come out of a tragedy,” she said.

Supt. Wendy Mehat, Officer in Charge of the detachment told CTV News the tournament brought officers together to remember Rick, who was a beloved member of the force, fondly.

“We’re certainly making his legacy come alive today,” she said. “Events like this really help our officers heal.”

Rick, a 51-year-old father of six, was fatally shot while executing a search warrant in Coquitlam on Sept. 22, 2023.

“I miss him every second of every day,” Nicole said. “I’m really grateful to have this event to focus on for the last five, six months. It’s been part of my healing journey—it gives me place to pour my love for him every day.”

Nicole said while she was working on preparing the tournament, she could feel Rick’s presence cheering her on.

“And I know that he’s here with me today,” she said.

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