Last Wednesday was Fox t-shirt day at Springdale Elementary School in Dollard des Ormeaux. But to the kids, the real excitement was provided by the visit of several Alouettes players who held classroom discussions with the students and a basketball game against the teachers inside the gym.
Pierrefonds resident and offensive linesman Scott Flory spoke with students of Grade 4 and 5. He spoke of his time in university, his injuries, the all-star game he had at the college level. He talked of the bonds that form on a team that are similar to the bonds that form in elementary schools.
Flory also made a point to speak up about tolerance and bullying. He told the kids we often bully when we don’t know what the other is like. He then spoke of ways his coach used to break the cliques on the Alouettes roster to bring the players together and gave advice to the children about doing the same.
“The way I can challenge you guys is that is: step out of your comfort zone a little bit. Maybe you’ve got your best friend and I’m not saying don’t do that. Maybe there is that person when you’re playing soccer... Maybe there is that person or two, three people, you know they want to play but maybe they’re a little bit shy, a bit unsure, they don’t think they’re good enough. Go include them in your group, go approach them, go talk to somebody new. You might make a friend for life,” he said.
As for kicker Sean Whyte, he talked to the Kindergarteners whom he said were “very talkative and had a lot of funny questions.” Whyte spoke of the importance of going through school. He explained his own path through school, coping with a learning disability.
He said that no matter what you do in life, you’ll need school with you.
“Even now that we’re professional football players, we still have playbooks to read and things like that so we’re continuously studying and without football, we need a back-up plan too. I’m still going to school today trying to be a firefighter,” he said.
He completed his talk by discussing goals and how to reach them.