For many youth in Brampton, finding a space for recreational activities that isn’t city-owned and operated (and thus keeps city hours) is tough. They have found the city to generally lack casual-but-secure and fun places for youth to hang out. BenchMark is here to change that.
While hanging out with friends watching Jurassic Park one night, Brampton natives Harjit Dhami, Rav Auluck and Jindpual Shergill developed the idea of a facility would allow people to play any number of sports, from basketball and volleyball, to soccer and dodge ball.
After some discussion, an all too familiar “bro sesh” turned instead into a business discussion which lead to the three young men co-founding BenchMark Sports.
BenchMark opened up back in October 2015, located at 284 Orenda Road, Unit 9. Before its transformation, the facility was a warehouse full of junk. Dhami, Auluck and Shergill transformed the space with their own blood, sweat and tears. With help from contractors, friends, and family, the space was built out from the ground up. It now offers multipurpose floors with vinyl overlaid over a cushioned base.
BenchMark caters to sporting activities from basketball with regulation basketball nets, hockey, volleyball, and badminton. The facility has two courts available for rent; rates range from $50 for one hour, $65 for an hour and a half and $80 for two hours with bulk prices available for corporate rentals, other sporting events as well as parties.
The facility is equipped with washrooms and the guys are looking into adding locker space in the future. While taking a tour, Dhami discussed further development to the courts and updating the wall base under the nets ensuring there is enough support in instances where individuals drive to the nets while playing and make contact with the wall.
Dhami reminisced about the days when he and his friends use to play basketball outside in the blistering winter months as youngsters, staying outside until their hands turned blue. Having a facility like BenchMark would have been a dream come true for the boys when they were younger.
The vision behind BenchMark Sports is to get kids off the street and doing something healthy and positive. Growing up in Brampton Dhami, Auluck and Shergill understand the reality of being an impressionable youth. They have taken it upon themselves to make a difference in the community by offering a facility that not only provides a space for positive reinforcement but have programs in place to ensure teens and young adults are constructively occupied. For example, this past March Break they offered drop-in sessions for youth.
The facility has flexible hours of operation; the standard hours are Monday to Thursday 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Friday – Sunday 10 a.m. – 2 a.m. If bookings are made outside the operating hours the facility will do their best to accommodate. While visiting for a tour the phone was ringing off the hook with people looking to rent a court. It seems BenchMark tapped into a busy market right from the start.At the time of Bramptonist’s visit the facility was host to a local girls basketball team using a court for practice. The second court was rented for recreational use by a group of friends. Patrik Sunal, a regular himself, brought his friends to the facility for the first time all the way from Vaughan. When asked what brings him back, Sunal touched upon three key areas reasonable prices, flexible hours and convince.
The next step for BenchMark Sports is to start a development league for U-12 and the goal is to be part of Ontario Basketball (OBA). They have been actively hosting tryouts to build a team.[irp posts=”6892″ name=”Brampton athletes among Canadian basketball stars on the rise”]
The future is bright for BenchMark Sports with the positive work they’re doing in the community and their willingness to help young people in Brampton grow. Dhami, Auluck and Shergill have a lot to look forward to and plan to grow the scope of their business beyond Brampton. Their goal is to flourish into a franchise; and from what was seen the other day, it may be an attainable goal indeed.
284 Orenda Road Unit 9