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‘Equal chance’ for student athletes

RIA GOODMAN, [email protected]

‘Equal chance’ for student athletes

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The office of International Education at the Marquette University in the United States is equipping student athletes with the tools for equal opportunity at gaining an education.

This was revealed by assistant director at the university, Susan Whipple, during a student workshop in the Liberal Arts Auditorium at the Barbados Community College yesterday.

“We want to level the playing field that everyone has the same advantage at gaining information and access to education.

“It’s not just admission to university it’s also a parallel process. It’s also qualifying to play athletics. So we are talking about the athletics that goes with the scholarship that would be athletics focused. Also the students who might still want to play sport but be able to go to a university that will offer them a competitive academic scholarship with that same opportunity to compete,” she said.

During the workshop which was hosted by the US Embassy, Whipple, along with Barbadian athletes Anicia Wood and Riechele LeSaldo, who would have both benefited from athletics scholarships, assisted students, teachers and parents in understanding the process and also what they wanted out of studying.

Deputy public affairs officer Gaina Davila told NATIONSPORT Whipple was very qualified in the procedure.

“We want to bring a better understanding to students here in Barbados about what it takes to go through the admissions process in the United States, particularly from a student athlete’s perspective. That is what Susan is really here for. She has had more than 20 years working with kids. She has inspired many to really do great and we want to make sure they can tap into it,” she said.

Davila mentioned that there was an advising centre on the Barbados Community College grounds where students would be able to acquire a wealth of information about the process.

“They will be no longer fearful and afraid about the process because there is a lot of mystery sometimes. We want to remove all the myths and all the mystery so we have a very firm understanding of what it means to go through the admissions process and to not only succeed but to really thrive in that environment.  We want them to be able to add to their country and be able to help, and we really think this programme is going to be able to set them up for success,” said Davila. (RG)