By Flynn Bush
As part of the Inaugural Strongman event here in Cayman, there were many people who benefited from having the 2017 World’s Strongest Man in the country. Mr. Eddie Hall, who was the guest of honor this past week, Obviously, he was at the competition on Saturday but, it was the two previous days where he, undoubtedly, made the most impact. Those were the days when he spoke to two very important audiences.
On Thursday October 3rd, Mr. Hall flew to Cayman Brac where he was the main draw during a special assembly at the Layman Scott High School. There, he spread his message to all 140 students of the school. He spoke of his struggles with anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts and how these things impacted him. Additionally, however, he also spoke about how he was able to find his purpose through powerlifting, and to emerge from those negative feelings and thoughts. It was a message of inspiration as he encouraged the students to “Be Strong.” The message was received, loud and clear.
On Friday, the Be Strong! Youth Rally was held on Grand Cayman, at the Lions Centre. It was a totally electric atmosphere from the time that Mr. Hall made his entrance when the Year 7-9 students erupted in cheers and roars. There were more than 1300 students in attendance, so one can imagine what a raucous and welcome these excited spectators gave the strongman. The youth were from both public and private schools on the island (John Gray, Clifton Hunter, St. Ignatius, Wesleyan Christian Academy and Grace Christian Academy.)
At the rally, Eddie again told his story, starting from when he was a 12-year-old boy. Again, it was well received as the students all absorbed his message. Additionally, Isaiah Webster-Scott performed his skit which he had done for the Brac students as well. The skit was entitled “If Anxiety Had A Voice.” Representatives from the Alex Panton Foundation and the United Against Bullying Foundation were both at the event and spoke to the youth. Former Miss Teen Latecia Bush and rapper DLMND both addressed the crowd. It was such a great experience. Rhonda Kelly of the event coordinating company, Kelly Holding, remarked, “It was really amazing to see all these kids together.” She also wanted to note that Tortuga provided Tastee Patties, water and juice to all the students, and that both youth rallies were made possible by the Ministry of Education.
It is unknown whether any of the students who heard Eddie’s message, either in the Brac or the rally on Friday or the students at the Lighthouse School where he stopped by to do the shuffle with, will ever grow up to be as physically strong as him. However, Mr. Hall’s message of “Be Strong!” was about the strength that he hopes everyone will find within themselves; strength to resist negativity, to embrace positivity, and to ultimately become the best they can be, at whatever they choose to do. This is a message that, especially in today’s highly negative and critical world, each of our young residents needs to have impressed upon them. Thank you, Mr. Eddie Hall; and thank you to Mr. Tony Mc Inerney and your team for arranging the event week, from start to finish.