Sport

Kevaughn Campbell — CB Group UWI 5K Scholarship winner achieving through focus

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

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It's been a somewhat arduous road for Kevaughn Campbell.

In addition to being a national junior representative — in the physically demanding sport of swimming — and pursuing his long-held dreams of becoming a doctor and surgeon, he had to keep his grades at an acceptable level, especially if he were to land a coveted scholarship that would cover his financial obligations at university.

Throughout all his days of navigating sporting performance, socialising and schoolwork, one passion burned brightest: medicine. “As far as I can remember, the one ambition I had in mind was to become a doctor,” he recalls.

So his days ran a predictably gruelling schedule: Morning training at 5:00 am, then head off to school for 7:45, then return to training for 4:00 to 6:00; get home, get homework and studies done, and repeat the following day while trying to balance everything else, including his social life.

“I won't ever say the life I had was easy, because it wasn't,” he reiterates. “I was balancing a number of commitments at once, and I had to figure my way around and in and out of situations, but I will say it has made me the person I am today.”

He credits the esteemed Heroes' Circle institution for helping him to become focused and disciplined — an approach which allowed him to maintain good grade averages. “Wolmer's is very keen on producing well rounded individuals which include balancing sports and academics. However, work always comes first.”

To achieve his ambition — which is a very costly one — he relentlessly aligned himself with life science interests upon entering The University of the West Indies (UWI), devouring the written material and keenly following up on his lectures and other developments.

The dedication has paid off in a major way, with Campbell being selected as one of the 2017 awardees of the CB Group UWI 5K Scholarships, thus taking the significant consideration of books and tuition expenses off his plate.

“I was very surprised upon learning of it, but after the shock, I felt very appreciative and blessed for I know I have worked hard to achieve it. It also greatly eases the burden off my parents.”

Campbell is not ashamed to also credit a higher power for his success. “I also know that no matter what, God has a plan and I believe he would provide a way. I'm a strong believer in Christ, and I know that I have worked very hard to be where I am right now, both in academia and athletics.”

He describes the assistance as having made a very positive impact on his life, giving him the ability to think about the future and be able to plan financially when it comes to paying the tuition for the MBBS programme, recognising that it is still a significant outlay.

And Campbell the athlete, who actually participated in the 5K during his first year, praised the organisers for the degree to which they continually make both students and the general public aware of the event, especially around the campus.

“I heard about the scholarship at the run, saw it online and on posters around campus, and had an interest in applying. A year later I was blessed to know I was one of the recipients of the scholarship. I would just like to thank the CB Group for this opportunity to grow. Additionally, I would like to thank everyone who believed in me. Most of all I would like to thank the Lord for health, strength and ability. “

It may appear, however, that his competitive sporting days are at an end, at least at the national level. “As a swimmer, I have come to the realisation that swimmers in Jamaica don't get as much recognition/appreciation as a 'traditional' sport, for example, track and field.

“However, I am very appreciative of the sports scholarship I received from The University of The West Indies, so my current plans when it comes on to athletics is to perform and represent as best as I can for the university, as I do not believe that persuing a career or even a part career in swimming to be a feasible venture.”

What is feasible and definitely his focus, is obtaining his first degree (in Anatomy) after which he intends to transfer to the MBBS programme and pursue his dream of becoming a doctor.

Meanwhile, his extra-curricular interests include — what else? — a love of cars and speed. “I am a car enthusiast, so I also enjoy working with, observing, and talking about cars.”

His conversations naturally also extend to broadening his medical knowledge informally. “I also enjoy talking with friends in the medical faculty, especially the clinical students, about what they do and learn while on the wards.”

Critically, Campbell knows exactly what it is that has transported him from average to outstanding. “I am no strong believer in 'luck', I believe that when hard work and preparation meet the right opportunity, that is where true success is attained. And always aim after opportunities and do not take the word 'no' too personal, take it as 'next opportunity'.”

His personal success philosophy goes even further: “Give your best at whatever you do, because one day someone, somewhere will see what you are doing and reward you for your hard work, one way or another. Never forget where you are coming from — comeone gave you an opportunity to better yourself. Therefore, when you are in a position that you are able to give someone else an opportunity, it is your duty to give back and allow another person to realise their dream.”

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