BC Lions Pride takes Prince Rupert

B.C. Lions running back Jeremiah Johnson talks with student Josh Leighton to the rest of the crowd at the B.C. Lions Pride event. (Nicholas Laws / The Northern View)
Riley Mellis and Amal Atyah lead the charge for team orange during a big game of tug-of-war (Nicholas Laws / The Northern View)
Kayla Main gears up in front of her peers during the relay race part of the B.C. Lions Pride event. (Nicholas Laws / The Northern View)
Darrin Budskin is blindfolded by B.C Lions defensive end Ebenezer Ogundeko much to the crowd’s delight (Nicholas Laws / The Northern View)

The B.C. Lions made the trip up north last week to teach some Prince Rupert students valuable life lessons.

Players, Bo Lokombo, Jeremiah Johnson, and Ebenezer “Ebo” Ogundeko were the players representing the team on their northern trip.

For Johnson, giving back to the community is a responsibility for anyone in his position as a professional athlete.

“Us using our platform as BC Lions to help these kids, by touching on ways to set goals, and how to crush them and keep going I think it is awesome,” Johnson said.

Michele Cross, the principal at Prince Rupert Middle School knows how important it is to get outside voices relaying these positive messages about mental health, and the impact it has on her students.

“I think it’s important that it is the BC Lions, because when we try and talk about it they don’t really listen so much, but when its athletes and people they look up to as kids they listen a bit more,” Cross said.

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The Lions players spoke about, goal setting, decision making and the effects of depression on mental health all things that can drastically change young peoples lives.

“Mental health is the most important thing we are talking about on this tour, in my opinion, there’s lots of stigma around it and we just want the kids to know that it’s OK not to feel OK,” Johnson said.

In between their speeches the Lions players engaged the audience by selecting some lucky students to participate in games such as a relay race, push-up competition and a tug of war.

Prince Rupert was just one stop in a province-wide tour for the team, that hopes to spread positive messages to students across British Columbia.

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