K is for Leader

Image of Kenson Casimir

Kenson Casimir

If one’s actions can inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then according to John Quincy Adams that individual is a leader.  With that short but powerful quote, let’s all meet a leader, an individual that is quickly becoming a household name particularly in the sporting arena, Kenson Casimir.

A look at the well-built, current sports broadcaster and television presenter on Helen Television System and Social Transformation Officer for Dennery North and South and one would conclude that this young man was brought up in a household and a community plagued with little hardship and strife. In fact when we began this interview, the stories of his domination in sports from as early as seven years old hadn’t prepared my mind for the story of disappoint, discouragement, encouragement and ultimate success.

At an early age he displayed a keen interest in track and field, and at the age of seven he was called up to the national squad to represent the island in the 80metres at the Under – 13 regional games in St. Vincent. He would continue to make the island proud in the discipline until the age of 14 where his sights turned to cricket and he was soon fielded into the national team for regional competition. His patriotism and love for sports seemed to be like a match made in heaven and at the age of 15 he was selected to represent St. Lucia in Football at the World Cup Qualifiers where he scored two goals for our country against Grenada and Anguilla. He continued to excel in the three sporting disciplines and by the age of 17 he would soon add another, volleyball as he set on a successful bid to represent the island at the Windward Islands Games.

Kenson grew up in the community of Gros Islet, a town known for birthing some of the island’s greatest names in sports so his love for and dedication to the various disciplines came as no surprise.  Sure enough his success could be attributed to seeing the likes of Elijah Joseph, Francis Babalstic, Leonard “Spider” Montoute, and Lindsay Joseph all of who he admitted played pivotal roles in his sporting life. As his development in sports continued so did his understanding of the value of a dollar.  “I remember receiving my first football boots from Clarence Rambally, but it wasn’t a gift… he told me in life you have to work hard for everything you need so he ordered the Diadora but I had to work to pay it off”. During that time Kenson learnt how to paint, tile and mix cement among other things, and in two weeks he had earned his shocking colour green and black football cleats.

His stories mimicked that of the many sports stars we see every weekend, but as life continued to unfold we ventured down a path many who see him today would have a hard time believing.  While he admitted to having a fun childhood he did reveal that it was anything but easy. Forget carrying water every morning and night to and from the standpipe, his mom had three boys in her teenage years and growing up in the household was extremely challenging. Kenson however used that situation as motivation to practise independence and while still at school he moved into a small apartment, got a part time job (first job was merchandiser and a push out at Glace)  and began making plans to be a success.

He admitted to being an avid reader of sports news and reports, often envisaging himself being the one to change the landscape of sports on the island. Sometimes he would even go as far as to reading the nutritional value on the back of products since good nutrition and sports go hand in hand.

The past pupil of the Leon Hess Comprehensive Secondary revealed to us that on his first attempt at C.X.C he was not as successful as he needed to be to attain admission into the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College or to gain a scholarship. His zeal to change such misfortunes was pushed into over drive after a co-worker boldly declared that all he would amount to was an errand boy and nothing more. Kenson took a second successful stab at the illusive C.X.C grades receiving Grade 2 in the four subjects he sat. After a meeting with his biggest inspiration then Minister of Education Mario Michel, he attended the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College where he excelled in Sociology (A), English Literature(B), Management (B), and General Paper(A). He was then offered a scholarship to Grambling State University where he completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Mass Communication.

He has since completed his first year in a PHD in Sociology and hopes to continue his research in Caribbean Hybridity.

A modest individual, Kenson would never agree that he is an inspiration to others but says that if people truly want to succeed in their endeavors they must have a strong relationship with God and cut out all negative words from their vocabulary. “Once you embrace the thought that you can accomplish anything in this world and you start realizing your potential to get things done, then you will be successful”.

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