Caymanian swimmer Allison Jackson, 16, has been offered a partial scholarship from the University of Northern Colorado where she will join her older sister, Sarah Jackson, for the start of the next term.
“The whole college searching and looking into all the different criteria that colleges needed was a really long process,” Allison Jackson said.
During her search for a university in 2019, Lisa Ebeling, the head coach of Northern Colorado’s women’s swimming team, came to Cayman, leading her to shortlist the Stingray Swim Club stand-out along with two other girls scouted from the US, and another from Finland. Jackson then went on a recruiting trip to the university, where she said the team made her feel welcome. Encouraged by her sister, Allison Jackson signed on and will be starting her collegiate experience in late August. “Having my sister there to tell me the kind of environment it is and how she has found the experience so far, has made it really helpful for me,” she said. “I’m really excited to be training with her again because obviously with Stingray Swim Club, we swam together for basically our whole lives so it’s really exciting that we get to continue that into our collegiate career. “But, really, I want to make my own experiences and pave my own path. So, while she will be a confidence boost and I’ll have someone to talk to, I definitely want to branch out and meet new people because that’s what the whole college experience is about.”Stingray head coach David Pursley, who has worked with Jackson for the last six years, said he couldn’t be happier for the soon-to-be college freshman.
“I am so proud of her and everything she has done,” said Pursley. “Just watching her develop over the last six years now, she’s growing tremendously not just in the pool but out of the pool as a leader; just an awesome ambassador for Stingray and for the Cayman Islands. “She’s an intense competitor and nurturing to the younger ones. She’s going to be missed next year but, at the same time, she deserves everything that’s coming to her. She’s one of our hardest workers … she does not miss a practice ever, and that commitment has paid off. She’s now going to be a division one college athlete.”
The Bears are an NCAA Division I programme and compete in the Western Athletic Conference for women’s swimming and diving. They finished third at the 2019 WAC Championships, the matching the highest finish in programme history. The university is located in Greeley, Colorado, about 49 miles northeast of Denver, and has a student enrollment of 12,930.