Dear family, friends and followers of the Champions for Health Promoting Schools Program,
My name is Amy Davidson, and I am a second year champion, teaching at Urlings Primary. I am so grateful and forever indebted to Dr. Joanna Sheppard for allowing me the opportunity to return home to Urlings Primary where Ms. Parker and all of her staff and students feel like family. I do not know why, and I do not know how, but the experience with this program has the ability to change you as a person if you simply open up your heart and just let it.
Since leaving the island last time, I have had one of the worst years of my life and coming back to Antigua has reminded me of the love, joy and pure happiness that I truly deserve. The moment I stepped out of the car onto the grounds of Urlings on our first day, I was flooded with a sense of peace and purpose that I had been lacking over the past year of my life as a student-athlete at UFV. Not only was school becoming increasingly difficult for me, but at the same time I had also had my passion and love of volleyball crushed through an extremely emotionally abusive and psychologically manipulating relationship with a single individual. The students remind me every day through their humor, enthusiasm and love, that I AM enough.
When returning back to Urlings, it felt as though no time had passed as the students came charging towards me, like out of a scene in the Hunger Games, except they were killing me with their kindness. I used to say last year that I was a human jungle gym for the students, because I always had four or five of them climbing all over me at all times. However, this year I am more of a totem pole as they are so shocked at the fact that someone had remembered to come back for them and this has made them extremely reluctant to let go. Since Urlings is a newer school to the program, I was proud to return as a friendly face, in order to aid in the sustainability of this program, and to ensure that relationships continue to be built at the school.
Today was an amazing day for Urlings as they got to experience their first ever Unity Games day. Urlings is the smallest school in the program with only 95 students in total. Although this leads to great connections with the students, it has made it difficult for us as a team to host a Unity Games day at the school. Unity Games day is often described as organized chaos, but I prefer to think of myself trying to herd a group of cats while trying to teach them tricks. A day that usually leads to much stress and anxiety was a picture perfect run through at both Urlings in the morning and Piggott’s Primary in the afternoon. With the craziness of Unity Games, it is easy to not feel confident, but it is important to remember that it is never as good or as bad as you think, and in this moment to believe that you are enough here and now with the students.
I have always struggled with the idea of never feeling good enough. Never good enough as an athlete through sports, never good enough for my parents, and never good enough as a student in school. Ultimately, by being a part of this program, I have never felt more sense of belonging. I have slowly started to understand my importance and purpose as a person on this earth and gaining perspective to finally free myself of this burden and to just say to myself, that I AM enough. I used to believe that these students were the ones who needed me, but I have been quick to realize that it has been me all along who needed them the most. As my hero once said, “Sometimes you can’t see yourself clearly until you see yourself through the eyes of others.” – Ellen Degeneres