Dreams do come through! Two Carifta athletes earn scholarships

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By Akeem Greene

akeem@newsroom.gy

Pursuing academic commitments overseas while being able to train and compete at the highest level, has been a lifelong dream of national athletes Anisha Gibbons and Adriel Austin.

With support from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, that dream is now a reality.

The duo, who had a successful outing at this year’s Carifta Track and Field Championships in April, will depart in the coming days for the United States of America (USA) to attend college.

Gibbons will attend the New Mexico Junior College to pursue studies in Business while Austin heads to Hinds Community College in Mississippi where she will satisfy her interest in Biology.

Both athletes secured partial scholarships and the Ministry funded the remainder of the financial commitments along with their airfare to the USA.

All smiles! Adriel Austin (left) and Anisha Gibbons will soon depart Guyana to pursue studies in the United States of America (Photo: News Room/August 6, 2022/Avidesh Narine)

An emotional Linda Johnny, the mother of Gibbons, expressed immense gratitude for the fulfillment of the promise from the Ministry after their exploits.

“I am very proud of my daughter; I just want her to go and do what she is supposed to do and make Guyana proud”, Johnny expressed as her daughter sat beside her with a bright grin.

“It is like a dream come through. When I came back from Carifta in 2019, this was on my mind all of the time. I just wanted to attend a school where I can better myself academically and also improve in athletes”, the country’s female national javelin record holder expressed.

Austin’s mother, Joylyn Beaton connoted similar sentiments, revealing this was one of her daughter’s priories.

The middle-distance runner said she plans to use the opportunity to gain a wealth of knowledge and to improve her skills.

MORE THAN TALK

When the local-based members of the team returned home in April from Kingston, Jamaica, with seven medals, Minister Charles Ramson Jr. revealed the Government would listen to what the athletes wanted and seek to honour those endeavours.

Then, he refrained from making “generalised offers” due to each individual having their own dreams, their focus is on “helping the athletes to get to the next stage.”

On Saturday, Ramson Jr. revealed they have provided similar scholarships to persons in youth and culture, however, they opted not to publicize them but plan on sharing such details in the future.

“We have not done a lot of the public engagement about this because I don’t like to make it seem we are doing this to given the Ministry more credit because I know how important this is to you [athletes]”, the Minister conveyed.

Recollecting on his years pursuing studies, he asked the duo to remember the sacrifice of their parents and charged them to find the balance in the new environment to keep excelling.

As regards the other athletes, the Minister indicated “you can’t have a blanket approach to everyone” and they will continue to have a dialogue to meet the individual needs of these outstanding athletes.

From left: Minister Charles Ramson Jr., Joylyn Beaton, Adriel Austin, Anisha Gibbons, Linda Johnny, and Director of Sport, Steve Ninvalle (Photo: News Room/August 6, 2022/Avidesh Narine)

Director of Sport, Steve Ninvalle, who was also presented for the engagement, expressed, that the Ministry and by extension the Government, “is about keeping their promises that they have made. The Minister has made a promise and it is a reality now.”

Fourteen athletes represented Guyana at the Games held over the Easter weekend.

Guyana finished with seven medals with Attoya Harvey leading the charge with gold (U-17 1500m), silver (U-20 3000m), and bronze (U-17 800m).

Gibbons, who won gold in the Under-20 Javelin, adding to her gold at the U-17 level two years ago; Narissa McPherson took silver in the Under-17 400m, Javon Roberts also claimed a silver in the Under-17 1500m, and Austin a bronze in the Under-20 800m.

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