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‘Big Mon’ gives back
By Petra Gooding
After a whirlwind season with the Baltimore Ravens, which culminated in a Super Bowl title, second year offensive lineman Ramon ‘Big Mon’ Harewood decided to spend a little of his off-season giving back to young Barbadians.
Harewood’s Big Mon Elite Athlete Development Camp started yesterday at Kensington Oval and is catering to children between the ages of 12 and 18. Harewood’s team mates Bryan Hall and Torrey Smith are also on the island helping out with the training camp, which is the first by the Baltimore Ravens in the Caribbean. The camp is also funded by the Barbados Tourism Authority.
“We just want to bring a new way of thinking when it comes to athletic training here, so I just want to bring the kids out and push them like the need to be pushed. I feel like there is a wealth of talent that needs to be explored and I am going to start tomorrow [Saturday]; that’s my plan,” said Harewood.
Harewood and his team mates were treated to a reception on Friday night at the Barbados Hilton, which was attended by the likes of cricket legend and national hero Sir Garfield Sobers, Minister of Sport Stephen Lashley and Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy.
Minister Lashley commended Harewood for not only coming back home to host the camp, but for getting some of colleagues to join him for the trip. He noted that the event underscores the Government’s focus on expanding sports tourism in Barbados.
“This is all a part of our thrust in the Ministry of Sports which involves reaching out to other countries in the area of sports tourism. I am sure there are other areas we would want to encourage other players to come to Barbados and have sports camps. I hope that this is the beginning in the area of football,” said Lashley.
Minister Sealy, who admitted has an avid interest in American football after studying at the University of Florida, congratulated the players on their success this year and noted that they have been an inspiration for young people everywhere.
“We have some members of the Baltimore Ravens who have made a name for themselves in football and they have been an inspiration to young people everywhere and we need to congratulate them.
“I am particularly pleased they are doing a sports camp, where they will have the opportunity for young people who can become acquainted with this sport and possibly work towards what Ramon was able to do. It is something I think should be saluted that early in his career he has decided to do major voluntary community work and he has ensnared some of his colleagues to come here and join him and I want to salute Ramon,” said Sealy.
Harewood attended Queen’s College before gaining a full academic scholarship to Morehouse College in the United States. He played volleyball, cricket and rugby during his school days in Barbados and has only played football for seven years now.