Shekeina Bush of West Bay is on the road to bigger and better things. The young football star is ready to take her game to the next level thanks to a scholarship offer from Florida International University. But while this may seem like a simple case of athletic talent paying off, the 16-year-old midfielder is quick to point out that sports is just one part of the equation.
It was hard work in the classroom that put her in a position to be able to earn a scholarship. Talent is not enough, she says, university coaches want young people who have a chance of success not only on the field but in the books as well.
‘I’ve always been told to not just focus on sports alone but to make education a priority and use sports as a vehicle to getting an education. It’s worked out,’ Bush said. ‘I’m extremely excited about this. Years and years of hard work and commitment are paying off.
‘Sports helped me mature a lot,’ she continued. ‘You have to learn to manage your time and make sure you get good grades. I’ve also made a lot of friends and had a lot of fun.’
Bush intends to major in engineering and information technology. Nothing lightweight there, but it is certainly in line with the ambitions of a young woman who doesn’t flinch at having to work for worthy goals.
Bush offers this advice to young athletes: ‘Find a sport you love, get into it, and stick with it. There will be a lot of times when things will get hard and demanding, but you have to stick with it.’
Bush adds that Cayman’s young athletes must focus more on academic success if they want their physical skills to open windows of opportunity overseas.
‘It’s very important to keep your grades up,’ she said. ‘There is so much talent here but a lot of young athletes don’t balance their grades with sports. Universities won’t pay too much attention to your talent if you don’t have the grades too. A lot of people think they will get into a university just because of their talent but it’s not like that.’