On Target
August 16, 2013

A gift wrapped in Foyle

No one should underestimate the impact which the annual Adonal Foyle Kerosene Lamp Foundation Academics and Athletics Camp has had on local youngsters, as many who have attended have had life changing experiences.{{more}}

What started as a casual affair 10 years ago, has now become a staple for youngsters in July, whenever the camp pitches tents here.

Through the Foundation, sponsors and donors have all boarded the cause, thus creating sustainability.

The insistence on an academic component to the camps cannot be undervalued, as many students have had their eyes opened wide to the world of basketball and its potential to make other career opportunities possible.

The healthy lifestyles aspects of the camp look after the athletes’ holistic development.

Those who make the All Stars Programme are continuously monitored to ensure that their academics are at an acceptable level for their continued enrolment as part of the elite bunch.

This also gives those outside the loop a marker to aim at, thus lifting the standards all round.

Furthermore, they have had opportunities to travel to the USA, another experience some may not have been able to afford on their own.

It seems that the children who are among the select few, as well as those who get a chance to be part of the camps, view their involvement in the programme as privilege, rather than a right.

Similarly, others who get the opportunity just to be part of the occasions, are thankful for the time spent.

These mindsets augment the efforts of the Foundation, and probably spur them to keep going with some degree of regularity.

Overall, Foyle has shown that he is willing to give back to his native St Vincent and the Grenadines and has even spread his camps to Dominica, Trinidad and Tobago and the United States of America.

What the annual camps do, is provide hope for those who never had their pathways lit in such a manner.

Additionally, Foyle’s personal interest in children has led him to publish a book “Too Tall Foyle Finds His Game”.

Foyle’s humility amidst his achievements, mainly off the basketball courts, has been able to add further credence to the operations of his foundation.

So the seeds have been planted in the many youngsters who have been the beneficiaries, and the watering processes should follow naturally.

The parameters are boundless, as no one knows the reach and extent of the effect on the youngsters of involvement in the basketball expositions.

The same can be said of Foyle, who just over 20 years ago, was spotted during the annual Windward Islands Schools’ Games in Dominica, which led him to be enrolled in a school in the USA; then the other things in his life began to take shape.

It was that single opening Foyle got that saw him turning a pro basketballer in the NBA in 1997, until his retirement in 2010.

Beyond that, Foyle has been able to earn a decent living and, academically, is the holder of a Master’s Degree in Sports Psychology. Foyle is among an elite few of NBA players who have had the honour of being inducted into the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame.

Now known for his oratory, poise and other traits worthy of emulation, Foyle, over time, has acquired role model status.

Fortunately, Foyle has made optimum use of the opportunity to better his life through sport.

His achievements in the Vincentian context may be not one that comes every Monday morning, but it is one which others can endeavour to mirror, even in a minimized version.

Foyle has shown to all that coming from a small island such as St Vincent and the Grenadines, one can make significant strides, once you have the will and the skill to ward off the things which can beset you.

His story is a lesson for all aspiring sportsmen and women.