BC Lions turn energy to education program

Hume Elementary students had a special treat Tuesday morning as members of the BC Lions gave a presentation that would excite and educate.

BC Lions player Jason Arakgi gives a presentation to students at Hume Elementary School Tuesday.

BC Lions player Jason Arakgi gives a presentation to students at Hume Elementary School Tuesday.

Hume Elementary School students had a special treat Tuesday morning as members of the BC Lions visited to give a presentation that would both excite and educate.

As one of 75 schools in the province that the Lions will visit — including several Nelson locations — the young students were given a presentation from players Jason Arakgi and Jon Hameister-Ries emphasizing the importance of environmental responsibility and sustainability.

The pair of professional football players gave the students tips like turning off lights that aren’t in use, washing clothes with cold water, taking shorter showers and more through games and activities.

“I think activities are the best tool,” said Sean McGarva, community relations representative for the BC Lions.

“We’ve got to the point in the three years of doing this program where it’s a good mix of activities to get the kids involved and let them burn off some energy as well as getting the message across.”

Each year in the off-season, the BC Lions participate in initiatives like this one, including anti-bullying, gender violence and literacy campaigns.

“It starts when companies that have a message they want to get into the schools approach the team to use athletes as a platform to deliver the message,” said McGarva.

“I think having the BC Lions come and present the program has a bigger impact than a teacher or parent because they hear from them all the time. Sometimes it just takes someone different even though it’s the same message.”

McGarva said being in the community is a massive part of what the BC Lions football team is all about.

“We have a campaign, The Pride of BC, and we live that… it’s not just about making fans, but it’s about getting messages across to kids and being the whole province’s team.”

This Energy Champions program by FortisBC is just one initiative the team is a part of across the province.