Review by Kevin Baldeosingh
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Epic scholarships for aspiring footballers
Four aspiring footballers are off this month to various American universities to take up full scholarships offered by Epic Sports Agency Limited.
The four players came from secondary schools across the East-West corridor and played major roles for their respective schools during the last Secondary School Football League (SSFL).
The quartet includes Intercol champions St Augustine Secondary’s Ricardo John and Romario Romain, St Anthony’s College’s Shaquille Huggins and Fatima’s William Ward.
John, 19, will attend Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, popularly known as Virginia Tech, where he will study Business Management.
An attacking striker, he was named male MVP of the SSFL after leading the league with 21 goals and driving his team to the 2013 East Zone and National Intercol titles. His former Green Machine teammate Romain, a star goalkeeper, will attend Judson University in Elgin, Illinois, where he will study Physical Therapy.
Representing the North Zone, Ward, 18, will enter the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) to study Civil Engineering. A defensive midfielder, he was part of the Fatima team which beat East Mucurapo in the North Zone finals late last year.
Meanwhile, former St Anthony’s defensive midfielder Huggins will travel to Hamden, Connecticut to study Business Administration at Quinnipiac University.
Two other students from Barbados and Guyana also secured scholarships through Epic in basketball and football respectively.
Epic Sport Agency Limited is the brainchild of Aaron Pollard, a PE Teacher at Trinity College East.
The programme was initially done on a private level from 2008 and has now evolved into a legitimate company that provides National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) scholarships in all sports for young athletes in the Caribbean.
They also provide agents and have connections with more than 100 NCAA & NAIA colleges.
Pollard, who won the 2012 SOSA (Spirit of Sport Award) for PE Educator of the Year, felt that promising footballers in the Secondary Schools Division deserved the opportunity to further their craft. He also expressed that obtaining a scholarship wasn’t as complicated as some teenagers might assume and that they just needed the right guidance.
“When I taught Form 6 at El Dorado East Secondary, I had the chance to go away on a basketball scholarship but turned it down because I had no one to guide me.
“This programme provides that guidance and hopes that more young footballers aren’t just restricted to local and regional football.”