Shonita sets her sights high
She does not take no for an answer, and she lives by the motto I Can Do It.As early as the age of three, Shonita Brome insisted on attending school. And she knew what she wanted to be – an athlete.Now at age ten, this outstanding athlete has garnered dozens of medals and continues to excel in academics. In fact, Shonita has competed in scores of athletics competitions and she maintains that she wants to be a professional athlete or a paediatrician.She was twice named victrix ludorum for her outstanding performance in athletics and academics.Shonita attends the Roland Edwards Primary School, where she is an A student. She will be going into Class Four in September. It does not even stop there. Despite her hectic schedule for practice and school, Shonita also finds time to participate in Brownies, 4-H, the YES programme and she also sings in the school choir.She is also an active member in the youth programmes of the Swithin’s Anglican Church, which she has been attending for a number of years.Shonita, of Greenidges, St Lucy, says her love for athletics is so great that even when she is “tired or injured” she still attends practice sessions. Her favourite event is the long jump. Shonita has been winning the long jump for a number of years both at her school and in various competitions. She was successful in breaking the BC track meet long jump record when she jumped 3.97 metres earlier this year and, in fact, she has a personal best of 4.19 metres in the event.“I usually take part in the 200 and 400 metre races, the long jump and the 4 x 100 relays but I prefer the long jump because I like to jump in the sand,” said Shonita who earned a silver medal in the long jump at the recently concluded Caribbean Union of Teachers Games (CUT) in St Kitts.She said competing in that meet was “good”.“Running in a different country felt a little strange at first as I was trying to get used to the tracks but it was good. Sometimes before a race I get nervous,” she admitted. Proud motherShonita’s mum Velda, who was an athlete during her school days, says is very proud of her daughter and wants to see her continue to excel “at whatever she does”.“I don’t know what motivates her, but from small – she didn’t start school yet – she accused me of not sending her to school. I think she was almost three. “She told me that I had her uniforms made and didn’t want to send her to school. So by the time she began to attend school it was no problem because she just wanted to get there.“One day she stepped in from school and said, ‘Mummy, I want to be an athlete’. I accused her of going on the playing field every day and she said to me, ‘Mummy, how I want to be an athlete and you don’t want me to go on the pasture?’ “So it is from then, if I tell her no, she doesn’t take it easy. She does not like no for an answer.”Velda, the mother of three girls, describes Shonita as “very helpful and exceptional”. She said Shonita was very keen on finishing her homework no matter how tired she was or how late they got home after practice. Shonita says when she does not finish first in any given race, she still feels good to know that she “completes the race”, adding that she sometimes encourages her fellow athletes and gives them tips.Her mum said she was motivated by her daughter’s exceptional performance and her strong will.“What really motivated me, too, was that after the [National Primary Schools Athletics Championship] she came home one evening and told me, ‘Mummy, I am going to be on the CUT Games team, so you better make sure you get my passport sorted out’. She had confidence she was going to be on that team. So she came home after the Easter break with a letter . . . then there were the trials and all this time she was telling me, ‘Mummy, I am going to be on that team . . . She trained and trained and she got through,” said Velda.As if all her extracurricular activities were not enough, Shonita finds time to read, play games and watch television.She also takes part in art and craft competitions and has received a number of certificates of participation for various other activities. She also participates in basketball and netball.“She likes to know that she is always doing something,” said Velda.Shonita admires World Champion sprinter Usain Bolt and says she also looks up to her sisters, parents and her Class 3 teacher.