Developing a nation must first start with its youth. They are the most integral ingredient to the formula of success, and the Rockets Athletic Club for the past umpteen years haveran with these corevalues. They’ve been instrumental in the success of a multitude of athletes, many of whom have secured sports scholarships to study abroad while competing in the sports that they love. The management of the club believes that witha disciplined participation in athletics children can develop study skills and psycho-social skills that births an attitude to achieve greatness.
The athletes at the club through the support of management, parents and sponsors are often presented with the opportunity to compete locally, regionally and internationally. The most recent, the Amateur Athletic Club Championships, was held in Orlando Florida at the ESPN Wide World Complex. It exposed the fifteen lucky athletes to an entirely different world of sports.
Over the seven day period, the student athletes competed against other athletes from around the world, applying the technical direction and coaching that they had been receiving from their Rockets Coaches. The coaches were most grateful for the experience their athletes were afforded, “the experience was both educational and transformative”, long time coach Cuthbert Popo said in an interview with ACID Kreationz’ Ted Sandiford as he relayed the objectives of the trip.
For many, participating in competition would be about winning medals and the same is expected by the Rockets Athletic Club, but the purpose of the trip focused on more than just medaling. The purpose of the trip was for each athlete to apply what they have learnt over the years while gaining valuable international experience. They quickly realized that things were very different internationally and that for many was the real eye opener.
“The athletes there were more competitive and serious, it’s like they really wanted it”, Hannah Charles revealed while Gyan Charlemagne lauded the new experience as exciting but very challenging. Sergio McKenzie in admitting that the AAU games was one of his most challenging to date realized that while one maybe winning all of the competitions at home, there is stiffer competition out there and he knows now what to do to better prepare himself.
Much of what is normally taken for granted, like training, student athletes like Daniela Adonis found a new appreciation at the end of the championships. She has vowed to return to the Games and improve on her performance, marking her training regimen as one of the areas she must improve on.
In carving out a great piece, much care and precision must be taken into account. Greatness is never rushed and the future of the sixteen sporting greats is poised for success. The trip, according to the student athletes, was important to their development as athletes and their sights are already set on the next trip; not just to learn but this time to rival the athletes whom they had formed friendships with during the competition.