By Neto Baptiste
Work hard, trust in God and seek out the knowledge of your elders was the advice coming from centre back Sheldon Christian who attends and represents the US-based Bethany College on the football field.
Christian, who is one of nine young Antiguan male players attending the school on scholarships acquired via the Free Kick Foundation, made the statement when asked what advice he would give to other youngsters hoping to earn a scholarship to study and hone their skills abroad.
“Hard work is the most important thing and trust in God in all things that you do because you’re living in a world that you have to care for yourself as well as you care for others, especially in the US where you’re coming from a small country. Stay focused, think about what you are doing in life, think of every decision that you make and just keep going. Stay positive and seek counsel from those who are older and so forth,” he said.
The Antiguan student athletes were part of the college’s historic feat last Saturday, winning the Presidents’ Athletics College (PAC) Men’s Soccer Championship final for the first time in 20 years with a 3-1 triumph over the number two-seeded Franciscan Barons.
Christian, along with the other Antiguan players in midfielders Rokeba Cordice and Jehlani Lloyd, left back players Dequan Samuel and Jay-zeba James along with right back players Jahzihno O’Garro and Malique Jarvis and center back Michilo Reggis all turned out for the college this season.
“I give thanks for them every day and I am able to speak my dialect on a regular basis with my boys and listening to some Caribbean music and talk about things happening at home and so on, so I am definitely thankful for the guys,” the player said.
Christian said the support and love from family also plays a pivotal role in the success of young men and women who are studying abroad.
“My family, they have been behind my back from the get-go, from the time I got that call saying that there is a scholarship on the line for me, my family has been there, my church family as well, and my coaches in Sowerby Gomes and Lenny Hewlett. Those two coaches play a big part in my soccer development growing up so I had the support and I am thankful for it,” he said. Christian is pursuing studies in business management.