Abbotsford Basketball Association co-founder Dylan Kular, W.J. Mouat Secondary alumnus and community leader takes on senior management role with British Columbia’s professional basketball team.
Desi Today News Desk
There are some who play, but there are some who dedicate their lives in promoting a sport. Dylan Kular is one of them. Kular, a basketball player himself, discovered that accessing quality basketball programme was big issue for Fraser Valley youth. He began working in the not-for-profit sector to help create pathways for youth to engage with the game.
Kular was born and raised in Abbotsford. A graduate of Abbotsford’s W.J. Mouat Secondary in 2010, Kular went on to play collegiate basketball at Quest University in Squamish where he graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Sciences, with a specialization in marketing and sustainable business development.
Since graduating, Kular dedicated himself towards removing the barriers to entry that exist for youth who wish to access quality basketball programming in the Fraser Valley, particularly in his hometown of Abbotsford. “Growing up in Abbotsford, the sport of basketball offered me a chance to meet friends both at school and through extra-curricular activities after school and on the weekends. A lot of basketball’s principles, such as teamwork and camaraderie resonated for me, so I always had a passion for the game from a young age. While at Quest University, I realized there was a gap in programming available to youth when it came to accessing both entry-level and high-level basketball in the Fraser Valley, so I began working in the not-for-profit sector to help create pathways for youth to engage with the game,” he says.
With this in mind, Kular co-founded the Abbotsford Basketball Association (ABA) in January 2016. Since its inception, ABA has grown to become one of the largest not-for-profit basketball associations in the Fraser Valley. In 2018, ABA had nearly 2,000 Fraser Valley youth participate in year-round after school and weekend basketball programming. In addition to helping create opportunities for Fraser Valley youth to learn the game of basketball, Kular currently serves as a Director with both the Abbotsford Police City Basketball Tournament and the Abbotsford Youth Commission, where he uses his platform to advocate for an increase in sports infrastructure and the power of sport as a vehicle for achieving academic and athletic success.
Three years ago, Kular helped launch the Valley Summer Games, a multi-sport amateur sport festival with a focus on inclusivity that takes place annually in August. Sports included in the festival are wheelchair basketball, 3×3 basketball, touch football, ultimate frisbee and dodgeball. The 3×3 basketball tournament is the largest in western Canada, with 168 teams participating in 2019. All proceeds from the event go to KidSport BC. For his continued contributions to the development of sport in the province, Kular was recognized as a Community Builder by KidSport BC in 2018.
He feels the future of basketball in Canada is extremely bright. “Every day more and more youth are picking up a basketball and discovering the fundamentals that make the sport so appealing — it’s fast-paced, it’s team-oriented, it’s athletic, and it has style and cultural appeal. Its easily one of the fastest growing sports worldwide, and here in Canada participation numbers speak to how influential the game has become. Canada has already ascended to a strong position on the international basketball scene, and now with local professional teams like the Bandits and teams across the CEBL, we are providing an opportunity for the current and next generation of elite basketball stars to play at home.”
Kular joined as the Director of Business Operations of Fraser Valley Bandits, the professional basketball team of Abbotsford and is part of the Canadian Elite Basketball League. Recently he was promoted to Vice President in advance of the team’s second season in the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL). “When the Canadian Elite Basketball launched and news of the return of professional basketball to British Columbia became apparent, I saw an opportunity with the Bandits as an important chance to celebrate some of Canada’s finest professional athletes. Although we are a professional basketball team, we like to think of ourselves as a grassroots staple in the community that brings youth together through community appearances, school day visits, kids skills clinics and much more,” he says.
In his new role as Vice President, Kular will oversee and facilitate a variety of unique sponsorship opportunities with local and provincial partners and will continue to help the club strive towards fulfilling its ultimate ambition of leaving a sustainable and positive imprint on British Columbia and Canada’s professional basketball landscape.
Following the Bandits’ inaugural season, the club was nominated for a 2019 Business Excellence Award in the category of New Business of the Year at the upcoming Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Awards.
“The opportunity to continue developing the sport is an honour – one that I am truly humbled by. Basketball has opened many doors for me, and as one of Canada and the world’s most accessible sports, the privilege of being in a position to grow the game at the grassroots level, and now at the professional level is something I am immensely passionate about,” Kular says.
“2019 was just the beginning for the Bandits. Game days at Abbotsford Centre set a positive precedent for how basketball can bring the Fraser Valley community together under the banner of sport, and I can’t wait to showcase basketball’s unifying power through an environment as exciting and fast-paced as a Bandits game in 2020.”