Mon | Dec 11, 2017

US-based Jamaican making it easier for student athletes

Published:Sunday | October 29, 2017 | 12:00 AMRaymond Graham
Keisha Thorpe (centre), vice president of US Elite International Track and Field, with Olympian Vilma Charlton (left) and Frank Hyland of Benedict College at St Andrew High School on Friday.

Vice-president and liaison international scholastic director of US Elite International Track and Field Incorporation, Jamaican Keisha Thorpe, visited the island last week for the third US-Jamaica Scholarship and Athletic Convention and College Fair.

At this fair, Jamaican high school athletes hoping to study in the United States get guidance on the various requirements to get into the better colleges.

Thorpe, a past student of St Andrew High, joined with her twin sister, Trecia, to start the programme.

"After graduating from college, we began mentoring some younger athletes and we really tried to chart their path to success," Thorpe said at St Andrew last Friday.

"We realised that when it was time for these student athletes to attend college, there was a lot lacking in their academics as there was so much focus on sport. We helped them to balance both by putting them in colleges with coaches that allowed them to shine both in athletics and academics," she added.

 

WORK IN PROGRESS

 

"This is a work in progress as we have always tried to find new ways to make our organisation better, especially now when we have new immigration and NCAA eligibility standards. We can confidently say at this point that we have helped the majority of the student athletes who go through our programme to matriculate and transition through college and into a career field," she said.

"I am happy to be back at St Andrew High School and we are here to go over all the rules to make it easier for them to register. In the United States at around this time, it is college fair month, where athletes are being guided by their advisers on how to go through the process of enrolling in college, and we want to make sure the athletes here have access to these opportunities and can compete with those students, especially for scholarships into different colleges," she concluded.

Several coaches from overseas, including the former Jamaican middle-distance athlete Inez Turner, were also here with Thorpe.