Every Wednesday my fellow LIT Victory Scholars and I go to the Moyross Youth Academy to spend time with a great group of kids. The group consists of about 15 boys ages 12 to 18. We work alongside a few other supervisors who instruct and oversee all the activities for the group. The people who work at Moyross are all spectacular; they are very enthusiastic and truly have the kids’ best interests at heart. The kids are equally as great, and I mean that sincerely.
This program strongly resembles the eHoops program that SCL and the Victory Scholars at Ulster run. In fact, it’s essentially identical. A normal session comprises of us playing sport for the first hour, then we normally eat dinner together. In the second hour, we do a less athletically strenuous activity like art or personal development to close out the night. We also occasionally go on trips together. We’ve been to an indoor trampoline park, an outdoor ice-skating rink, and a mini golf course. It’s always great “craic” whenever we’re with the Moyross group.
Before we started this program, Drew, Taylor and I received a lot of mixed reactions from people within the Limerick community when we told them we were volunteering at Moyross. Most of the time those reactions were negative. A lot of people told us to “watch out” or “be careful” when we go over there. However, after the first session, the kids showed us firsthand how great they truly are.
It’s not fair that these kids have to endure these unwarranted social criticisms and labels assigned to them. Some members of the Limerick community look down on these kids solely because of where they are from. Some of these kids may come from a disadvantaged background but honestly, they are no different than any other kid. They are just misunderstood by people who have had zero interactions with them. Sure, some of them may have a lot of energy but when taught to channel that energy into something constructive, the sky is the limit for each and every one of them. Easier said than done; however, this is where the help of the Moyross supervisors and us Victory Scholars comes into play.
It is our job as Victory Scholars to help inspire and give hope to young people across Ireland so they can achieve their own personal victory. As Victory Scholars, Drew, Taylor and I are trying to help this group of kids from Moyross overcome some of the unfair labels members of their community assigned them. We are helping them break down the social barriers they face and realize their true potential. We are providing hope, inspiration and education through sport and social interactions. These kids are absolutely wonderful when treated with the respect and consideration they deserve.
The Moyross Youth Academy and every employee there act as a catalyst towards success for these kids. The supervisors do an amazing job connecting with these kids and understanding the daily struggles they face. We are very lucky to work with and learn from these great people. The employees and kids alike have welcomed us into their group and we are extremely grateful.
Wednesdays have hands-down become the highlight of my week. It gives me pure joy when interacting with these kids, and continuing to learn more about them each week. It is so rewarding being able to help them realize their true potential as our program progresses. I cannot thank Sport Changes Life enough for giving me this opportunity to impact the lives of others through something I am so passionate about. I also want to thank the Moyross Youth Academy and its employees for welcoming in Drew, Taylor and me. We are grateful for the opportunity to work alongside some truly remarkable people. Lastly, I’d like to thank the kids in our group. They have been a treat to be around, and the development they are undergoing has been incredible to witness. There is no doubt in my mind that every kid from this group will achieve victory in their life!