~By Naomi Kowal
BC Lions’ players Angus Reid, Rolly Lambala, and J.R. LaRose visited Prince Rupert high schools last week as part of their “Lion’s Pride” program, that aims to inspire children to follow their dreams and make positive choices.
The Lion’s visited Pacific Coast School on March 5, where they talked about the challenges they faced in their life, and how they were able to overcome them.
The first speaker, Lambala, who originated from the Congo, explained how he learned to have the ability to embrace change in order to achieve his goal of playing professional football.
“I just want to encourage you guys to wherever you go in life, keep a positive attitude, be open-minded, because change is not always bad,” he said.
LaRose, who was born into a life of poverty with a drug-addicted mother, talked about how he had used the negativity from others to fuel the fire within through hard work and strong will.
“If you want to create change, you have to create change with yourself. You have to believe in yourself before other people are going to believe in you,” he said.
LaRose explained how, through making bad choices, he was only sabotaging himself, and learned not to blame others for the unfavourable experiences he had. After being cut from the team several times, he kept pushing on to pursue his dream of playing professional football.
“Everybody wants to shine bright like a diamond, but nobody wants to get cut. A diamond comes from humble beginnings,” said LaRose.
Finally, Reid told his story. It was the story of an underdog, who learned that hard work and dedication are the formula in achieving your goals.
“How much you care about what you want to become is going to shape your future,” he said.
“If you take care of all the things that are in your control, you’d be shocked at how much more is in control than you think.”
Students were captivated by the three players, the messages they were able to get across were both motivational and inspiring. The students watching were enthralled with what the Lion’s had to say and listened respectfully, while some even shared their personal goals with the players afterward.
Reid left the audience with an inspiring statement; “Don’t quit. Find out what it takes, and then do it…Getting what you want in life is not complicated. Life goes out to those who go out and get it,” he said.