By Neto Baptiste
Young athletes across Antigua and Barbuda will have an opportunity to get valuable insight and training as to what the life of a professional athlete is like when the Nolan Hue Foundation hosts its second annual Young Professional Development Workshop on Saturday at the Sir Wright George Police Academy in Langfords.
The workshop will school young sportsmen and women in the areas of public speaking, brand management, financial management and other important areas associated with becoming a professional athlete.
One member of the Nolan Hue Foundation, Regis Burton, explained that the free workshop will expose young athletes to a host of key areas that are considered vital for their overall growth and development as budding professionals.
“Our main purpose at this workshop would be to help them improve their public speaking and interviewing skills, understanding the importance of branding and social media and how it plays a part in getting them to the next level. At one point we want to emphasize the importance of financial management and there are some other general things we want to expose to them what it really means to be a professional athlete off the field. We know everybody has their talent on the field but what does it take off the field and that is what we will be discussing on Saturday,” he said.
A young entrepreneur and community activist, Burton explained that participants are basically chosen by the respective associations across Antigua and Barbuda, but that others will be given an opportunity to attend.
“What we do is send an official invitation to all of the sporting associations and federations and we ask you to submit two representatives, preferably a male and a female but it is understood that if it’s a male dominated sport then you’d send two males and vice-versa two females. Once they would have submitted their representatives they would attend the workshop but what we are doing this year is that we are also giving individuals an opportunity to apply to attend so if you go to our website there is a simple application form online that anyone under the age of 21 can fill out and apply and there is a high chance you will be selected to attend the workshop also,” he said.
Saturday’s workshop, which is scheduled to start at 11:00 am, will be facilitated by Leeward Islands CEO and manager for the St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots, Peter Abraham Jr and will also include reigning Arnold Classic Europe champion, Kimberly Percival.
Former national women’s footballer, Akeilah Hillhouse and national basketball player Sharife Sergeant will also form part of the team.
Burton is hoping young athletes will take advantage of the opportunity.
“Antigua and Barbuda has talented young people but sometimes the only thing we’re missing is a lack of opportunities and then also the fact that we’re not even trained or prepared for the opportunities when they come around so the foundation started off by [hosting] professional networking events. We host youth retreat even in the summer, who host an art option for young artists but there are just different opportunities where young people get a chance to be in a professional setting and learn about what it means to transition into the professional world,” he said.
Athletes wishing to register for the workshop can do so by logging on to www.nolanhue.com and filling out the online registration form.
The Nolan Hue Foundation is a non-profit organisation established in 2015 with the main purpose of creating and facilitating professional development opportunities for young people in Antigua and Barbuda and across the Caribbean.