Pros and first-timers spotlighted on Day 4 at Nationals

“Success is earned, not given” District 12’s Jahaziah Copeland

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Day 4 of the National Schools’ Cycling, Swimming and Track & Field Championships, showcased familiar, national, and new athletes, with eyes already on the next year’s school’s championships and the CARIFTA Games.

Erick De Souza, representing District 12, competed in his first National’s championship in the high jump event. 16-year-old Desouza, a Saint Joseph High School student, expressed his gratitude for this opportunity and took today’s experience as a learning one to be better equipped for next year’s championships.

“[It’s] an opportunity for me. I feel so confident I feel like I’m on the next level now. As I completed the event, I felt more confident. Next year, I know what is required of me, so I’m going to go work hard train hard.”

De Souza said he is a well-accomplished student and appreciates the chance that was given to him to participate in the games, as it offers him a good balance between academics and athletics. As District 12 had no high jumpers, courageous De Souza sized this opportunity. “I’m also a good performing academic [student], so balancing both is going to push me forward, and I’m really looking forward to it,” he remarked

DeSouza is also expected to compete in the Boys U20 800Metres, 1500Metres and triple jump.

Jahaziah Copeland, from Mackenzie High School, represented District 10 in the Discus Girls U18 Final. 17-year-old Copeland is no stranger to stiff competition, as this is her fifth appearance at Nationals, and she also represented Guyana at the CARIFTA Games in April 2019. Copeland dominated the field and credited her success to determination and hard work.

“[I prepared] by training extra hard and being determined because determination leads to success.”

As the competition nears an end, Joseph has her eyes on competing in the CARIFTA Games 2020. “I hope to finish on the podium. My plans for CARIFTA next year, as soon as the season starts, I hope to train extra hard because success is earned, not given.”

The National Schools’ Athletic Championship continues to be an incubator to nurture future national athletes.