October 12, 2015St. John, USVI
175 youth ages 5-17 and 47 volunteers showed up to participate in one of St. John's largest sporting events. The 7th Annual "Just Play" event put on every year for the last 7 years by Using Sport for Social Change and the St. John Community Foundation.
This free day of sport Allows island youth to participate in 5 sport categories that includes football toss, soccer ball kick, 50 yard dash, basketball throws and a soccer relay. Each age group is given a water bottle and event tee, and are timed or scored by the volunteers during the morning. Then all are brought in out of the sun to a full meal provided by Mathayom Private Chefs, who has cattered this event since it's inception.
After lunch, the youth are able to play each sport station at their choosing until the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place awards can be tallied. This years guest speaker, Dr. David Santesteban (presently the Interim Athletic Director and Head Men’s Soccer Coach at the University of the Virgin Islands) gave a wonderful talk about making choices and everything we do propels us in one direction or another, and we need to make good choices in order for us to aspire to greater things.
The awards are then handed out, with 1st place trophies and second and third place medals. Each child is then sent home (extremely tired and worn out of course) with a sports sack filled with Nike product, as well as a particpant medal stuck in every bag.
This year marks the 7th annual event. The longest running, free sporting event for Viring Island youth.