Mon | Nov 30, 2020

#OurSons 2019 deemed a success

Published:Friday | June 21, 2019 | 12:22 AM
Youngsters in action at the Ballaz Liberty Park during #OurSons 2019 ‘Believe the Ball’ event on Saturday, June 15.
Youngsters in action at the Ballaz Liberty Park during #OurSons 2019 ‘Believe the Ball’ event on Saturday, June 15.

Impending showers and sweltering mid-morning heat were no match for the anticipation of boys and young men at this year’s staging of #OurSons, an interactive motivational session by B3 Parenting. Hosted at Ballaz Liberty Park in St Andrew, the 2019 instalment encouraged participants to “Believe the Ball” as the event incorporated sport, lifestyle, and education in a variegated outreach effort.

First-hand exposure to sport and life principles via games, multimedia videos, and an inspiring mentorship sessions with long-time sport educators Sean Williams and Andre Virtue added to the overall experience as the event catered to youth from varying demographics for the second year in a row. Sponsored by Sagicor, the Office of the Children’s Advocate (OCA), Restaurants of Jamaica, Aldor Candies, and Ballaz Academy, the event saw more than 400 youth turn out to participate.

“This year has been tremendous and a big thank you to the sponsors who came on board to ensure that we were able to execute the activities,” Event Curator and B3 Parenting Consultant Michelle Gordon said. “There is a rising need for special attention to be given to the way boys and young men are socialised in our society. This is one of the many reasons for the event. It is imperative that we create and show positive role models as we prepare our boys and young men for adulthood.”

The event was free to the boys with registration, and organisers say it inspired young men to believe in themselves despite not being given opportunities easily. Speaker Sean Williams urged participants to note life’s cautions (yellow cards) by controlling anger and reactions to avoid detriment (red cards). Other speakers included Sagicor’s Philbert Perry, the OCA’s Diahann Gordon-Harrison, Kurt Boothe of Medical Disposables and Supplies, and Leshawn Solomon of Nestlé.

CELEBRITY APPEARANCES

The boys were visited by dancehall artist-turned-philanthropist Rodney ‘Bounty Killa’ Price, who spent time engaging with several #OurSons attendees from Arnett Gardens Football Club. He, too, added to the message that the right attitude in life would determine greater success.

“I believe that the event has done what it was intended to do. Our aim was to reach out and connect with the boys through inspiration, motivation, and a sport loved by so many young boys: football. The turnout today is indicative of success. Until the next staging, I hope all our #OurSons will continue to believe the ball, Gordon said.