STAR fêtes Ball Kids
Twenty-five Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) ball kids from across the country were celebrated at The STAR Ball Kids Barbecue at the Gleaner Company (Media) Limited (GCML) headquarters yesterday.
As part of the GCML’s multiyear partnership with the Premier League Clubs Association (PLCA), The STAR Ball Kid programme brought together a group of youngsters who participated at Premier League grounds across the nation while receiving mentorship, encouraging positive values and attitudes to inspire them to succeed, not only in sports, but in the classroom and life.
The occasion was festive and eye opening for the group as they participated in interactive games such as trivia and crossword puzzles, and received give-aways sponsored by Sunshine Snacks, LASCO iCool, and Reggae Jammin before being treated to lunch provided by Reggae Jammin and Sugabuzz Desserts.
Suwannee Caine-Stewart, GCML marketing and sponsorship manager, said the programme is important for exposing youngsters to new possibilities.
“It’s absolutely important for them to have a dream,” she said. “And I think that being a part of the RSPL has given them the opportunity to see a world stage because the RSPL, although a local programme, invites international presence and also has a place in Jamaican football.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE
Patricia Garel, general manager of the PLCA, lauded the programme’s success.
“It’s vital to the continuity [of the league]. [It’s important for them] to have the kids to look at football as a whole industry other than [that] we are taking the balls from off the sidelines, and so on. And for it to go hand in hand with their studies, the initiative of The Gleaner is really great. That speaks volumes, and I’m sure it will encourage the kids to work even harder next year,” Garel said.
The morning culminated with the presentation of The STAR Scholarship to 12-year-old Marla-Kay Lampart from Effortville Primary School in Clarendon. The scholarship awarded the recipient $20,000 towards her back-to-school expenses for attaining the highest average for the school year. The recently graduated Lampart will attend Clarendon College in September.
– Daniel Wheeler