Way to go, Crispus!

Sports

Way to go, Crispus!

KC’s Ugandan athlete Atukwaste credits teachers for helping him ace CSEC exams

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

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Having travelled thousands of miles from Africa in search of a better life, Ugandan Crispus Atukwaste of Kingston College (KC) aced his Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) exams picking up eight subjects, inclusive of four distinctions.

The 18-year-old student, who represents KC at both athletics and football, is from a cicalled Mbarara — the land of milk — in western Uganda.

With a population of nearly 200,000 and the motto “Good things come from sweat” [Ebirungi Biruga Omutuutu], it is no surprise Atukwaste has reaped the benefits of his hard work.

He earned distinctions in mathematics, principles of accounts, religious education and history, while picking up twos in chemistry and physics and threes in biology and English Language.

“It was a good feeling, especially for a guy like me who came far away from Africa,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

He continued: “I expected to pass because I worked hard towards these exams and my teachers helped and motivated me to keep focused, so credit goes to them.”

Atukwaste, who is the cousin of KC's Manning Cup and Champs winner, Arymanya Rodgers, represented the North Street-based school in the Under-16 football competition as well.

He will now be looking to make his mark — as his cousin did — in the 1500m, 5000m and 2000m steeplechase, of which Rodgers is the record holder with 5:49.46 minutes established in 2018.

The versatile athlete, who hopes to enter into the medical field or engineering, says he stays humble and listens a lot as he balances the heavy workload of sports and academics.

“I always made sure I complete my homework and assignments in time. Where I don't understand, I ask my teachers, plus I have a dream to become a medical doctor. Every morning I would wake up early, pray first and do some studying,” he explained.

But for a youngster leaving home in Uganda and coming to a country far away from home, Atukwaste has adopted well to life in Jamaica.

“It was really difficult [to] adjust to the language and Jamaican food, but I have adjusted.

“I am from Mbarara, western part of Uganda, [and] there is not really much difference between Uganda and Jamaica. However, here in Jamaica the technology is more advanced and differences in some types of food,” Atukwaste said.

For him, his “main focus” now is on excelling on the track.

“Right now, my main focus is on track and field, to get good times and proceed to the college and further my education,” he pointed out.

“I have my uncle who is a lecturer at one of [the] universities in USA, [he] motivates [me]towards my academics. Then for sports my coach Mr Hamlin Pagon has really motivated me to push myself, and my teammates have really done a great job. Ari motivates me as well,” added Atukwaste.

— Howard Walker


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