B.C. Lions linebacker Solomon Elimimian jumps in to help out the winning tug-of-war team during a presentation to Belmont secondary students on life choices and teamwork. Three players from the Lions visited the school

Belmont students find Lions Pride

Members of the B.C. Lions visited Belmont secondary school speak to about 400 students about making positive choices and achieving goals.



The road to success is paved with choices, and sometimes we all need a little help finding the right way.

Members of the B.C. Lions visited Belmont secondary school on Thursday, Feb. 13 to speak to about 400 students about making positive choices and achieving goals as a part of the team’s Lions Pride program.

Wearing their trademark orange and blacks, safety J.R. LaRose, 2012/2013 All-Star linebacker Adam Bighill and 2010 Most Outstanding Rookie and 2013 West Division All-Star linebacker Solomon Elimimian strutted in to the North Gym to lay some wisdom on the young minds of Belmont.

“We’re trying to spread some positive messages to the kids: the power of choice, goal setting, teamwork, all things that we’ve learned along the way,” Bighill said. “We have a lot of fun doing it, kids enjoy it, we play a lot of fun games.”

The Lions players told personal stories of their careers, both the highlights and lowlights, in between playing some games with volunteer students, including a relay race and a tug of war contest.

LaRose spoke about missing his chance to win the 2005 Grey Cup with the Edmonton Eskimos due to being cut from the team for the choice he made, including partying. He had worked so hard to get to the CFL, he was disappointed in himself after losing that chance.

He didn’t give up though, working through severe injuries and his own choices to make his way back to the league and win the Grey Cup with the Lions in 2011.

“You’re going to stumble, you’re going to fall. It’s what you do after you fall,” LaRose said. “It’s learning from your mistakes.”

All three players said they find the school visits a really positive aspect of their job and that they’re more than happy to impart some wisdom.

“A lot of these kids are at an important age, where making the right choices and decision making will get them to what their goal is,” Elimimian said. “Bringing a positive message and helping these youngsters get to where they want to get to is even more important than us playing football.”

LaRose said he remembers Edmonton Eskimos kick returner Henry “Gizmo” Williams coming to speak to his high school class in Edmonton and how it affected him.

“I remember being in school, sitting in the stands and listening to him like ‘Well why can’t I do what he’s doing?’” LaRose said. “And that’s what it’s all about. With hard work and dedication any one of these kids’ dreams can come true.”

Senior Belmont Bulldogs cornerback Cody Wist, Grade 12, was among the crowd and volunteered to come down and participate in a pushup and sit-up contest led by the Lions.

Wist said he took a lot away from the presentation, including a minor inferiority complex.

“It was a bit intimidating, especially hearing how much they lift and bench. I thought I was strong, but definitely not now,” Wist joked. “I get where they’re coming from. I’ve had friends with the same sort of problems, like with drugs and whatnot, so I’ve had to make similar choices as what they’ve had to do.”

Just Posted

Vancouver Island overdue for the big one, can also expect mega-thrust tsunami

The last big earthquake was 70 years ago in Courtenay

Most Victoria transit takers thank their driver: poll

Bus riders thank drivers on Transit Driver Appreciation Day

Volunteer needed to empty dog poop can in Saanich Park

Local volunteers do the work of irresponsible dog owners at Mount Doug

Sexual assault charge dropped against former CFB Esquimalt member

Navy Lt. Ronald Clancy was charged with two counts of sexual assault in August 2018

BC Ferries considers passenger only ferry between West Shore and Victoria

Royal Bay, Esquimalt and Ship Point considered as part of study into new route

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

Horvat scores 16 seconds into OT as Canucks beat Blackhawks 3-2

Pettersson sets rookie scoring record for Vancouver

No injuries, pollution in Vancouver Harbour ship collision: Transport Canada

Transportation Safety Board says it has deployed a team of investigators look into the incident

Budget 2019: Five things to watch for in the Liberals’ final fiscal blueprint

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Trudeau government’s final budget on Tuesday

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Alphonso Davies doubtful for Canada game against French Guiana in Vancouver

Canada will be without injured captain Scott Arfield and veteran Will Johnson

Watchdog called after man who yelled racial slurs at B.C. vigil hurt during arrest

BC RCMP say man was ‘acting suspiciously’ at prayer vigil for victims of New Zealand mosque shootings

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh steps into the House of Commons, making history

Burnaby South MP becomes first visible minority to lead a federal party in the House of Commons

Most Read