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Editorial

Game of Life: A serious conversation in charitable causes

Saturday, January 12, 2019

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The Catholic nun and missionary Mother Teresa, in her eloquent best, summed it up most poignantly when she said: “It's not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.”

What we deduct is that the late champion of the world's poor was speaking to the conscience of charity. Her message is that while it is noble to give, it should also be an act rising from deep within the human soul.

We share those sentiments because reaching down to help others should always be a selfless act borne out of duty and compassion.

For her inspirational work through her numerous missionaries she has won many global awards, including the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize.

Hers is an example worthy of aspiring to, even if not reached.

In the same breath, this newspaper has long recognised that a key building block in a progressive and caring society is a citizenry predisposed to a culture of charity and volunteerism.

It is for this reason we applaud the work and mission of the Game of Life Foundation (GOL), an inner-city charity that is using football to impact the lives of primary school children across Jamaica.

Through an annual fund-raising football extravaganza, private donors, a sprinkling of corporate partners and help from international affiliate Football For The World Foundation, GOL has been able to make donations of football gear and equipment to a number of primary schools.

But that's not all. GOL has recognised that while sport is a popular outlet for disenfranchised youth to escape their social condition, education is also a viable option.

So we were delighted to learn that GOL has also been assisting beneficiary primary school student athletes to prepare for what (PEP) exams.

“We provide private lessons for student athletes during the examination period. We also provide food, transportation and the necessary materials,” spokesman and GOL ambassador Mr Devon Williams was quoted in yesterday's edition of the Jamaica Observer.

If that isn't charity with a heart and vision, then what is?

Mr Williams, who attended St George's College before his footballing skills won him a scholarship to a US college, is a member of the current Reggae Boyz squad and plays in the American professional leagues.

He wasn't always this privileged. For Mr Williams, and many like him, grew up in the tough inner city of Kingston, and was lucky to escape its clutches of crime and violence.

“Football saved my life, and through the Game of Life Foundation I can in turn help to save another kid's life, because if it wasn't for football I would have probably gone left instead of right,” Mr Williams said.

That is a most profound testimony of the ability of football, and sport in general, to change, if not, save lives.

It is for this reason that we unreservedly urge all Jamaicans to go out and support today's third staging of the GOL Charity Games at the UWI Mona Bowl, for you could be rescuing a life.

“My plea to supporters will be to come out and be a part of the future of the country's youths and the country's football,” notes Mr Williams.

We doubt Mother Teresa could have said it better.

To Mr Williams, the other inner-city young men who spark the GOL Foundation, the cadre of Reggae Boyz who serve as GOL ambassadors, take pride in that you have been bound in one great brotherhood for charity.

In this game, you are all winners.


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