Athletes make impact in the community

Football team travels to local schools looking to make social impact off the field

Queen’s football players visited local schools during their bye week.
Queen’s football players visited local schools during their bye week.
Credit: 
Queen's Athletics and Recreation
The players ran fun and engaging drills with young students.
The players ran fun and engaging drills with young students.
Credit: 
Queen's Athletics and Recreation

This past weekend offered the football team some reprieve with a bye weekend, a time most would expect to see the players get rest in the midst of a grueling season. Instead, a large number of players used their Friday to travel to schools in the Kingston area as an act of community service and youth mentorship.

During the day, players made appearances at schools that reached as far as Sydenham. At the schools, they spoke to audiences that sometimes exceeded 100 kids. 

Using their personal experiences as high-level football players, the Gaels told stories about their successes but more importantly, their struggles and how they dealt with adversity.

The day also included chances for the kids to talk with the players one-on-one, as well as the opportunity to toss the ball around with the players they watch at Richardson Stadium. Third year offensive lineman Emilio Frometa was one of the Gaels that travelled to the schools.

In an interview with The Journal, he touched on the messages he tried to send to the young students.

“It’s this concept of talking about how there are going to be challenges and it’s not so much about letting those challenges affect you in a negative way, but it’s all about getting up more than you get knocked down…and taking these things that are unplanned and learning from them,” Frometa said.

Frometa is a vocal advocate for community initiatives such as this. Last year he participated in the same event and has a desire to give back to the Kingston community in any way he can. As a student-athlete, he sees it as a responsibility to give back to the community that has given so much to him.

“Now [I] have the opportunity to kind of have a positive influence and show that you care, even if it’s two minutes of your day talking to a kid. You don’t really know what’s going on at home or what’s on their plate but the thing that counts is listening to them,” Frometa said.

These types of events aren’t new to Queen’s. In April, a similar event was held, as players from hockey, football, baseball and lacrosse visited J.G. Simcoe Public School. 

Even though this has been done in the past, Frometa is a strong believer that more can be done to by Queen’s athletes to create impactful, long-lasting change to Kingston.

“No matter what, playing football and going to Queen’s University is a huge part of Kingston and we do take a lot from it and we benefit a lot from it,” he said. “I think for the most part we’re an underutilized resource and we have the capacity to have a huge impact on the community…giving back to the youth is something that can have a huge impact on their lives.”

For their upcoming game against Laurier, the Gaels will be providing free tickets to kids under the age of 12.

 

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