St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Track & Field has countless opportunities for students to secure a promising future, but they can easily lose these opportunities if academics are not prioritized.

This is according to Virgil Hodge, Assistant Coach of the Washington Archibald High School track & field team.

Ms. Hodge is speaking from experience as a former student athlete, Olympian and current national record-holder in 100m and 200m categories.

“My advice to them is stay in school, get an education. Once you are not doing well in school you are going to be ineligible and you can’t compete if you are ineligible in college [or] university and be disciplined, you have to be disciplined to the sport, you have to be disciplined to your academics.”

A student athlete and a coach speaking to WINN FM at the 41st edition of the TDC Inter-School Championship discussed the difficulties of balancing schoolwork with athletic training.

“The demands of athletics in terms of training, sometimes can take them away from their schoolwork, so I think it’s difficult from them to know when to put aside the sports and focus on their schoolwork or vice versa" said the coach.

“Yes, because at times I am kind of tired, but I still have to push myself because then at the end of it all, I’ll excel, because I want to go to a university.”  

A coach from Sandy Point High School’s Track & Field team said that schools try their best to ensure that student athletes are properly managing both their academic and athletic responsibilities.

“At this present moment there is a balance, we ensure outright that athletics and education is balanced out so we don’t necessarily have a problem with that we just ensure that it’s really balanced out.”

The Charles E. Mills Secondary School retained their status as the defending champions of the TDC Inter-School Championships for the fourth consecutive time, winning 31 gold medals, 25 silver medals, and 12 bronze medals.


Author: Jendayi OmowaleEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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0 #1 Jeffrey L Donovan 2017-04-04 11:32
Because more youths in the Caribbean, South and Central America are playing basketball coupled with soccer gaining popularity in the USA and of course the ever world popular track and field, students from these regions now have a better opportunity to migrate to the US to attend a college or university and this gives them an opportunity to advance themselves socioeconomical ly; in fact a young man from Nevis who attended a college in New Rochelle, NY is now on the Track Team coaching staff. It is imperative to understand the pitfalls of not focusing on academics though. They are doing a high wire act of exceling in athletics and wanting to succeed in academics at the same time, but it has to be done. One cannot exist without the other; falling off in one area can mean expulsion from the institution and having to return home empty handed. From what some have told me, it is very taxing mentally and physically to balance the two and some fall by the wayside, so Ms. Hodge is correct in her assessment and she should know as one who had to do that balancing act. If one looks at the statistics, it will show that the number of athletes who make it to the pros are very small; therefore not have an education to fall back on can be economically disastrous.

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