Youth encouraged to work hard for success
IT doesn’t matter where you come from, with great focus and determination and the requisite motivation, you can achieve your goals.
This was the advice coming recently from noted sports personality Dwight Yorke, a former footballer who left Trinidad and Tobago as a youngster to pursue his dream of playing professional football in England and who now has a stadium named after him in Tobago. Yorke was selected to address students across the region, who gathered online yesterday for a virtual Faith and Confidence Ceremony held by the Caribbean Association of Principals of Secondary Schools (CAPSS), set up for students soon to set examinations.
CAPSS has meanwhile noted that the Caribbean Association of Principals of Secondary Schools has a history of over 50 years of pioneering educational initiatives in the Caribbean. It comprises some 14 English-speaking territories throughout the Caribbean Region, from Belize to Guyana. The Association’s flagship event is a Biennial Conference of School Administrators, with the next conference scheduled for Trinidad and Tobago in July 2021.
This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, schools were forced to close their doors, which mitigated against providing the usual rites of passage for 110,000 students who will sit examinations this year. To fill this breach, CAPSS noted that it organised the virtual Faith and Confidence Ceremony, “to bless our students as they enter their examination phase with spiritual confidence and purpose, even as they traverse the challenges posed by the pandemic”.
Speaking under the ceremony’s theme, “Today’s Struggle; Tomorrow’s Strength”, Yorke pointed out that it was an honour to have a stadium named after him, as it means that his legacy will live on, long after he is gone. He however told students that his success did not come easy, as he had to work hard, persevere against numerous odds and make many sacrifices. Noting that he came from a family with many brothers and sisters, he however stressed that he set goals for himself and used academics to set him on his journey of becoming a professional footballer. He noted that once he got the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make his dream come through, he gave it his all and ensured that he was discipline and focused at all times, even though he often missed home and often thought about returning to the Caribbean, when he met certain struggles.
“It just goes to show you that with great focus and determination, you can succeed, but you have to work hard. The future is very bright for young people today. You can do anything you want to do. It doesn’t matter where you come from. I hope to inspire you to achieve your goals for the future,” Yorke told those gathered.
CAPSS President, Ronald Mootoo, also addressed the students, wishing them well in their exams, whilst the Roman Catholic Bishop of Grenada, Bishop Clyde Harvey, pronounced a blessing on them. President of the Barbados Association of Principals of Public Secondary Schools (BAPPSS), Juanita Wade, in moving the vote of thanks, encouraged the students to draw from the example of Mr. Yorke, who capitalised on his talent to reach the peak of success. She too encouraged them to work hard and to follow their dreams. (RSM)