On March 24, approximately 150 Bahamian student-athletes participated in an informative one-day workshop at the Melia Nassau Beach Hotel sponsored by U.S. Embassy Nassau in partnership with the non-profit Global Athletic Foundation for Youth (GAFY). The goal of the program and partnership is to develop well-rounded students who excel academically, as well as athletically in their respective sporting fields.
Prior to the student workshop, coaches met with Mike DeCesare, an Associate Director with the NCAA Eligibility Center, and Andrew Thomas the Associate Athletic Director for Development at the University of South Carolina Upstate. During both the student and coach’s workshops, the two presented the academic and athletic requirements for students if they choose to participate as an amateur in a NCAA Division I or II sport. A representative from the U.S. Embassy’s Consular Section presented on the student visa application process.
To top off the workshop, students heard from 11 American and Bahamian collegiate and professional athletes to include Aymara Albury (Alabama), Travis Blanks (Clemson), Marcus Gilchrist (Clemson), Rashard Hall (Clemson), Jonathon Meeks (Clemson), Waltiea Rolle (UNC), Antoan Richardson (Vanderbilt), DJ Reader (Clemson), Rashaad Reid (Georgia Tech), Coty Sensabaugh (Clemson), and Patrick Sapp (Clemson). Each athlete provided Bahamian students with their inspiring and motivational stories in their quest to pursue their athletic and academic dreams and careers. After the presentation, students had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with their role models. As one of the volunteers at the conference said, “It was enlightening to see the potential positive impact that such an event can have on their lives.”