Photo by Chung Chow
Kyle Shury isn’t a magician, but he certainly has a knack for juggling.
Husband, father, businessman and community leader, the proud Richmondite is always attending to some kind of task.
Principal and founder of Platform Properties, a local development firm, he spent the better part of 13 years learning the real estate development business with Rick Ilich at Townline Homes before launching his own venture. A business career was natural for Shury, given his dad was also a successful local businessman.
“Ever since I could remember I wanted to be a businessman,” says the McNair Secondary graduate, who earned a commerce degree at UBC.
In 2010, Shury was encouraged to further expand his horizons by joining the Richmond Hospital Foundation. Board chair for the last three years, he says the opportunity is “one that challenges you, but giving back to your community is as rewarding as anything I can think of.”
“We’re doing our best to do some very worthwhile work, and we’re at a critical time with our No. 1 priority being the replacement of the acute care tower,” he says.
Finally, to top off his challenging timetable, there’s soccer.
This week, Shury is absorbed in organizing three men’s teams (over-30, over-38 and over-45) set to represent Canada at the 38th Nations Cup tournament July 14 to 16.
“I’ll admit it makes for a very full schedule, but I really enjoying doing this,” he says, noting the level of pride on display throughout the weekend is both impressive and contagious.
“When I first saw India play, and all their (fan) representation, it made me appreciate that this is something special culturally. Then, as I grew a bit older, I remember Canada winning in overtime and Mike Franks making a great save to preserve the victory.”
Recognized by players and spectators alike as one of the foremost amateur men’s and women’s soccer tournaments in Western Canada, the Nations Cup’s unique concept of grouping players based on their ethnic ancestries helps to create an exciting, multi-cultural environment.
Shury’s job filling out the lineup cards for three teams playing under the Canadian flag has at least been lightened. Many play for the Richmond All-Blacks, which he manages in the Richmond Adult Soccer Association.
“Our goal has been to make the teams as competitive as we can,” says Shury, noting more than half of Canada’s over-30 side are local boys to boot.
Still determined to find time to suit up himself, Shury’s love of the game isn’t lost on anyone who knows him. That includes Nations Cup organizer Jeff Wilson.
“We’ve known each other a long time,” says Wilson. “Kyle is responsible, reliable, and is a strong advocate for the sport and our tournament.”
Shury’s introduction to soccer was as a precocious five-year-old with Central Richmond. Ironically, he played until he was about 12 and enjoyed it immensely. He also played competitive hockey, and like many kids had to make a choice. He chose hockey, which he played well into his 30s.
But he never lost his keenness for soccer. And not long after graduating from UBC, several players from the All Blacks encouraged him to get back on the pitch.
“Why don’t you play again?,” they asked him. “You’re still fit.”
Then following the birth of his second child, Shury faced another crossroad. After having anterior cruciate ligament surgery, he again had to pick one sport to continue with. This time, soccer won out over hockey.
“It was a tough decision, but having the majority of the games in our community really helped,” he says. “And at this age, no doubt there’s a big social component but it also still affords us (a competitive bent as well).”
Shury and the All-Blacks are no strangers to success. Perennial contenders for Richmond Adult Soccer League honours, they’ve enjoyed success at the provincial level as well.
As team manager, Shury is proud of what the longest-running team (20 years) in the league has accomplished. But he’s equally proud of the strong bond established among the players through the decades.
“One of the things I’ve tried to instil is camaraderie,” he says. “While the All-Blacks have been successful on the field, they’ve also be equally or more successful off. We just celebrated our anniversary as a club at a local watering hole that drew 150 people out spanning those 20 years. That’s a pretty strong (indication) of what sport means to me. Obviously there’s a health aspect to wanting to stay fit, but also the opportunity to continue to do something you love.”
Shury stresses none of his endeavours would be possible without the support of his wife Megan.
“Without her, there’s not a hope in heck I could do even half of it,” he says. “We have an active house, with three young kids who also play soccer and are involved in many other activities.”