Footballer regrets quitting school
SportsMax La Liga Experience winner Calvin Palache watched in awe as his football idol Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid defeated Osasuna on Saturday.
Palache and his partner, Tishana Sharpe, were at the stadium to witness the win courtesy of SportsMax and La Liga, but the spectacle brought back memories of his own playing days.
The 28-year-old was once playing at the highest level in Jamaica, having represented Humble Lion in the National Premier League, and he still has ambitions of getting back to the top locally and even playing abroad if possible.
But to this day, the Clarendon native still regrets his decision to quit school and take up football full time - a mistake he does not want other talented youngsters to make.
"I stopped going to school just after completing lower sixth," Palache revealed. "I didn't go back to sixth form as I started playing and earning money."
Palache, who was captain of Humble Lion's under-21 team and who also made first team appearances, revealed that it was a constant struggle for his parents to afford to send him to school, so he was happy to have been able to earn money for himself.
However, upon turning 22 and no longer being able to represent the under-21 team, there was a change of coach at the senior level, and he did not figure prominently in his plans.
"I started playing fewer games, and instead of getting paid every month, I started getting paid like every three months," Palache said. "And I got a daughter, so I couldn't work with that and had to quit football and use my six CXC subjects to get a job as a security guard."
The 28-year-old, who has now fathered a second daughter, regrets not having finished upper sixth as he believes that he would have at least been able to secure a better job.
MESSAGE TO YOUTH
"I just want to tell all the youths that when they are in school and playing football, or doing any other sport, they should do their school work first," he said. "I also believe it is important for parents and friends who know students who are good in sports to encourage them to stay in school and complete secondary or even tertiary education."
Palache captained May Pen FC to the semi-finals of the Clarendon Division One competition last year, qualifying them for the Major League. He, however, quit the team as he was not being paid and feared that if he got injured, he would have to foot his own medical bills.
He has, however, not given up on his dream of playing professionally again and says if a team comes along that can at least help him if he gets an injury, he would be ready to pick up the sport again.