Last season, Anthony Calvillo become the CFL’s all-time leader for TD passes and for completed passes. Late in the 2011 season, he threw in for a good measure another feather in his cap and cemented his place in sports history, becaming Pro Football’s all-time passer. He ended the season with 73,412 career years, surpassing such luminaries like Brett Favre and Damon Allen.
But more importantly, the Als’ no.13, and 3-time Grey Cup champ, kept his word to visit BA’s cream of the crop of male athletes, after our invite in 2010 while interviewing him for our Celebrity series of interviews. Last Tuesday, Feb. 28th, he did just that, and paid a visit with a motivational talk to a select group of students followed by a celebratory lunch at Richie’s Café with the championship juvenile boys’ touch football team.
Anthony spoke candidly about his early days in East Los Angeles mentioning it wasn’t an easy childhood. His mother being the sole parent during his young days, he also told the students, that it was important for him and his brothers to break that cycle and to be there for their kids and their family.
He then opened the floor to questions from the students, who mainly asked questions about his CFL career and other sports he has played in the past, and revealed that some of his favorite receivers were – not surprisingly- Ben Cahoon and last year, Jamal Richardson.
The last question came from BA’s resident superstar athlete Treyvon Grant, the nephew of Champion boxer Otis Grant. Treyvon asked AC what kind of music they play in the locker room. Anthony mentioned one restriction: music with swear words in it would have to be listened to on headphones on a directive from Head Coach Marc Trestman.
Following this, it was on to a delicious burger lunch with the boys and more football talk and plenty of photo ops in a visit that the BA community won’t soon forget.
We would like to thank Anthony and Als’ PR for this wonderful visit, and to BA Principal David Abracen along with senior VP Alix Adrien and Richie Klimas for making this visit a successful one.
Another successful We Day
The following day, it was another event that’s into its second year and becoming bigger in student participation. Once again, this year, the event was held at Theatre St.Denis and featured an array of big marquee names well known for their social activism and stands on children’s rights and musical entertainment from Nikki Yanofsky to Shawn Desman to make the day and get the assembled multitude of mainly teens off to a great prelude just before the March break.
Once again, Beurling Academy had a contingent of junior students listening to speakers the likes of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, award winning actor Martin Sheen, and Olympic medalist, figure skater and one of Canada’s Vancouver Olympics’ sweetheart, Miss Joanie Rochette, with the above three also being part of the media lunchtime Q and A.
Martin Sheen, in answer to my question about using his star power to raise awareness for various issues, mentioned that he’s not foolish enough to think that he can change the world but also being a parent gives him that credibility to raise social justice issues.
Champion figure skater, Joanie Rochette, in reference to her mother’s passing before her skate in Vancouver and overcoming the challenges of life, mentioned that it’s important to surround one’s self during those challenging times with a team instead of being alone as she did turning to her coaches and fellow Olympic team mates, and, in turn challenging the youth of today to surround themselves with a motivated team.
This year, the event was hosted by a recent visitor to BA, none other than Federal Liberal MP Justin Trudeau along with his charming wife, Sophie Gregoire. The following day was the national event, with mainly the same lineup of speakers, and a group of BA senior students attended that event.
We were also lucky to have the inspirational speaker Spencer West to meet BA teacher Miss Isabelle Naud along with a few students and Mr. West was gracious enough to take a photo op with the lucky BA people. We certainly hope that We Day organizers look to a bigger venue like the Bell Centre or possibly the Verdun Auditorium to accommodate more students.
With all the recent excitement events, we neglected to congratulate the juvenile boys indoor track team who recently brought home another City banner and gold medals at the GMAA indoor track championships, thus giving the school another title this year having edged out Lindsay Place by a mere two points. So kudos to all the players and coaches for a great indoor track season.