Tag Archives: Using Sports For Social Change

St. John Virgin Islands: Just Play!

I woke up yesterday morning to a heavy squall, thunder and lightning. I was looking forward to taking my son, Jacob, to the big Just Play happening at the Sprauve School ballpark. I was hoping that the weather would improve and wondering if the event would be canceled.

Meanwhile the organizer of the event, Dean Doeling, was probably also hoping that the weather would improve, but there was no way that he was going to consider cancellation. Like the US Post Office motto, “neither rain, sleet, snow or gloom of night” was going to keep Just Play from happening.

The weather did improve and Jacob and I made it down to the ball field just in time for the singing of the National Anthems and the Virgin Islands March.

As it turned out, despite the muddy field, the first annual Just Play event was a resounding success. It was just plain fun! You could see it on the faces of everyone there, not only the kids, but also the organizers and volunteers, were having a blast.

The kids were separated into age groups for competitions like the 50 Yard Dash, Football Throw, Soccer Kick For Accuracy, Obstacle Course, Dodge Ball, Tug Of War, Relay Soccer Race and  Kick Ball.

In addition to the games there was music, demonstrations, prizes, free gifts, food and drinks.

Just Play was organized and supported by Sport for Social Change, Nike, the St. John Community Foundation, the Virgin Islands Department of Housing, Parks and Recreation as well as by several local businesses.

The youth (of all ages) of St. John will be looking forward to next years replay.

Way to go, Dean! Thank you!

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St. John Virgin Islands: Press Release


Sports Banquet- Friday June 5th 6:00 p.m. at JESS School in the cafeteria on St. John.  Students from 3 St. John Schools will be recognized for their participation in sporting programs and awards will be given. This banquet will highlight the positive side of the sporting programs here on St. John in lieu of the recent cancellations of sporting programs on St. Thomas. There are a lot of individuals and groups making sure our kids have a safe and enjoyable time playing sports here on St. John.  Many programs are now in place and more will occur during the summer months.  Contact Lecia Richmond at 626-1871 for more info.

USFSC- using sports for social change, a local St. John group will be in attendance and will distribute sporting balls to the 3 schools present. Nike, in conjunction with benefactor Dean Doeling, a senior design production Artist for Nike, has been sending sporting balls and equipment to St. John for our local youth. The intent of this group is to assist any sporting programs that are all ready in place and to donate sporting equipment to them and our schools and to our youth. To date there have been over 230 sporting balls shipped to St. John, many are still in route. The first donation from USFSC was 20 baseball gloves to the Ruby Rutnik Softball Tournament this year which afterwards distributed them to 3 various schools. Some fun events for our youth are also in the planning for early October. Please contact me, info below, or Dean Doeling at Nike, 503-532-6756  for further info.

Thank you and Be Well

Luigi Costello
Cell: 340-344-5492

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