By Carlena Knight
One former national player is encouraging student athletes to find the balance between sports and academics.
Netball star, Shenneth Samuel appeared on the Good Morning JoJo Sports show to share what drove her to return to school during her adult life.
Samuel was a student in the first Physical Education/ Sports class at the Antigua State College (ASC). She says that although you are never too old to learn, it is a greater advantage for the youth to gain all their credentials early in life.
“Physical Education and sports was introduced at State College during my later years and for self-development I wanted to go and do the course. When I went it was a great experience for me. I did CXC late in life as well, and I was trying to be an influence for them as well telling them you have to balance, the academics with sports.”
She says despite the fact, she was not fazed to be an adult going back to school.
“I didn’t really have an issue with it because I am strong mentally. You have a lot of adults at State College, but I think I was the only adult in A levels. It was there for self-development which would come in handy with my work and honestly no matter what age you are you never stop learning so it didn’t bother me one bit and the youngsters there really looked up to me for counsel and assistance.”
Samuel, who is also a former netball coach within the Ministry of Sports, further encouraged local coaches to take responsibility for the lives of their athletes on and off the field.
“All of them are not going to go to a West Indies team. Even though we are trying to take them to the highest level in sports, we have a responsibility because in dealing with those young people and bring them into my home, I was able to see a lot.
“Some were 12 year olds with hickies, some cut themselves and talked about suicide, and because of that role I was playing in the community, I was able to form that relationship and with that I brought counsellors to my home in a setting where they were comfortable and the counsellor would deal with these issues. I’ve had to deal with all of that. I am hoping that coaches take that kind of responsibility and leave that kind of legacy,” Samuel said.