WITH the cost of education sky rocketing at an alarm rate and there appears to be no end in sight in the not to distance future, many parents are caught between, what can best described as an “Empty Wallet and a Hard Place” which is why the Free Kick Foundation is giving a combined nineteen young Saint Lucian footballers the opportunity to further their education in the USA.
Attending the presentation were Free Kick Foundation CEO, Arron King and other members – Rohan Lubon, Eustace Vitalis and Parry Daniel; Saint Lucia Football Association General Secretary – Victor Reid, along with SLFA Technical Director/ Assistant General Secretary- Cess Podd, student athletes, parents and the media.
The female recipients are – Cheselda Cox, Samara Edward (Essex College).
Vionce Weeks, Kayla Camille, Thia Fowell, Skye Gerald, Shania Charles, Nicole Montoute, Marva Herman (Talladega College).
The male recipients are – Azzah Daniel (North Carolina Westland).
Lurick Simon, Lyndon Desir, De Shawn Roserie (Florida Memorial University).
Djal Augustin, Jamie Prospere, Patrice Richard, Anton Richard, Chaz Bodley, O’Neal Edward (Talladega College).
Seventeen of the 19 students were on hand on Tuesday to received their University’s Jerseys and important documents and information.
Free Kick Foundation CEO, Arron King in addressing the gathering said, “It’s about recognizing the student athletes whose lives will be changed forever. You are in a unique position; I don’t want you to take this for granted at all, because when you step out that door there are close to 10,000 children wanting that opportunity you have right now. I am only talking about Saint Lucia. I am not talking about the rest of the Caribbean, the CONCACAF region and Africa.”
“You bid out so many children around the world. I want you to take this opportunity with both hands. When you get to your respective colleges/ universities make sure you do what you have to do. Go to class every day, study, play hard, and represent the college / university that you attend.”
King further warned the students when he said, “These people are taking a major risk in you and you have to repay that faithfully. It has to be important to you and you have to take that opportunity.”
In addressing the parents, King said, “Today what your son or daughter has accomplished again shouldn’t be taken for granted, it should be celebrated. You should be happy; you should have the opportunity to take them out to lunch or dinner, because they deserve that. Most of them, if not all, might be first generation college graduates and that’s huge.
“Four years from now when you will be taking your trip to graduation and watch your son and daughter graduate that will change their lives forever, because they will have a degree that nobody can take away from them, they could walk into any company, they could even start their own business.”
King said, “Their lives will change forever, income wise. So as a parent I know there will be a lot of sacrifices. You will get the phones calls, mummy/ daddy it is cold. In four years time everything will be worth it, I promise you.”
The FKF CEO took the time out to thank the many individuals and organizations that has supported FKF. The Department of Youth Development and Sports, Saint Lucia Football Association, Blue Waters. King said, “No matter how small the contribution is, it is important. Not everybody is able to write out a cheque to Free Kick Foundation, but they give us resources to get the job done.”
In two years, the FKF can take a bow for having well over 32 student athletes studying in the USA at College/University.