Academics before Pro: Footballer Garrett plots future


By Akeem Greene

Guyanese student-athlete and national footballer, Jeremy Garrett, has outlined a plan he intends to follow to succeed both on and off the football pitch. The priority is finishing his studies in Rehabilitation Science.

Garrett is just 20, but the central defender, who has played three matches for the senior Golden Jaguars, is fixed on a course he hopes is destined for tremendous success.

For him, succeeding at one is not truly success. He wants to prove that sport and academics can go hand-in-hand.

Additionally, coming from the ‘yard’ in Tucville where he said the choice was football or a life of crime, Garrett wants to inspire the next generation and send a message that “there is much to achieve if the right choice is made.”

For Garrett (#4) captaining Guyana’s youth teams has always been a great honour

Next month, Garrett is expected to complete his reading for an Associate Degree in Rehabilitation Science at Louisiana University Eunice in Florida and is completing his scholarship via online courses.

“With the current situation, the entire world has been put on a pause; but I keep working and trying to find an area where I can finish my studies and still play soccer at a professional level. I really would like to get that academics in before I join the professional arena.”

The next step is to hopefully attend a Division One College and play at that level then get drafted in the Major League Soccer or United Soccer League and start his professional career, but for now getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Rehabilitation Science is of optimum importance.

With on-pitch action halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the young lad, who rose through the ranks due to his discipline and commitment, is confident world football can bounce back, but it will take time.

“It [football] will be hard to bounce back from this whole pandemic, it is going to take time, but I see football as life and it will go on regardless. In due time things will change, it is not going to be a rash change back to normal, it will be a gradual move back to such,” stated Garrett, who has played over ten U-17 and five U-20 matches for his country.

Rising through the ranks of Digicel Football where he led a Chase Academic Foundation dynasty, Garrett is still on the balanced path to success

His enthusiasm stems from the news that some leagues are hoping to restart action, but will do with matches behind closed doors.

Garrett has been in lockdown for the past four weeks in Florida and adjusting to the new life indoors is not easy, and he is waiting for the ports to reopen to return home.

“It is a challenge in adjusting from being outside at all times as a soccer player, as a student to just being indoors…It is taking a toll mentally but there is nothing much I can do. I have learnt you cannot stress or fuss about things you cannot control. Focus on what you have control over, like my daily routine, my diet and my sleep; the isolation is what is required at this time.”

Garrett, who spent his elementary years at Fruta Conquerors and had try-outs with Sporting Lisbon in Portugal and D.C United in the USA, hopes athletes can lead by example with regards to following the guidelines of protection against COVID-19.

He advised athletes that they can find innovate but safe methods at home to do 30-40 minutes of cardio workouts to stay fit. Garrett further encouraged Guyanese to be responsible as it takes everyone to help curb the spread of the deadly virus.

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