BEST MOM EVER!
THE emergence of a baby from the womb of a woman is a very special event, irrespective of the point of view.
But that’s only the beginning of what will, over time, become a long journey of maternal bonding and nurturing, and the shaping and guiding of that life.
Tanesha Powell is one of the millions of mothers who have gone the extra mile to ensure the best for her child — World Under-20 triple jump champion Jaydon Hibbert. The young athlete’s success is a true testimony to strong parental support.
“She has always been by my side since basic school; my dad was always there, too, in the back doing most of the counselling and encouragement,but at the competition area was my mom — always to be seen cheering for me,” Hibbert told the Jamaica Observer.
He continued: “She gave up work, house duties, and made several sacrifices to make her presence known and to make her support fruitful, which leads to the confidence and security I feel within her even right now as I venture throughout my career.”
The 18-year-old Hibbert, born January 17, 2005, is a beacon of pride for Powell, and she does not hesitate to echo it.
“He started showing interest in athletics at age two where he was attending pre-school. He won all his races as a baby [and] I couldn’t believe it. That’s when I saw potential. Then I transferred him to RJR Basic [School] where I know his talent wouldn’t go to waste. That’s where everything officially started,” a doting mother shared with the Observer.
Currently, at the RJR Basic School there is a framed photo collage of Hibbert which captures his exploits, and it’s proudly displayed in front of the principal’s office.
He would later attend Vaz Prep and Kingston College where he left an indelible mark, not only on the track but in academics.
He aced seven subjects in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations, with distinctions in mathematics, English language, French, Physics, principles of business, information technology and social studies.
As a 17-year-old he gained a scholarship to the University of Arkansas and the impact was instant, as he broke the triple jump record at the National Collegiate Athletics Association Championship this year. He is also the World Under-20 record holder with 17.17m and boasts a personal best of 17.27m.
“Her level of support is the main factor towards my drive to always do my best and to make sure I give it my all, as she gave it her all just to support my track and field lifestyle. I wouldn’t have reached this far as most times I doubt my abilities and her personality is the ‘re-encouraging’ factor as to accomplishing great things, hence I keep pushing and keep soaring,” said Hibbert.
“We are like best friends; most will think that we are siblings because of the way we relate to each other. She still stands her ground as a mom but with all things being well we respect each other’s ground and we encourage and, most importantly, pray for our goings,” he quickly explained.
Powell, who is also studying in the United States, said Hibbert thanked her for not giving up on him.
“When he said it to me, tears come from my eyes knowing that my job wasn’t wasted,” said Powell.
She remembers the sacrifices but felt duty bound in support of her son’s dream.
“I gave up my duties on Saturday, getting less pay. I didn’t care because I wanted to support my son at his championships for both RJR and Vaz.
“A lot of times when he’s not feeling confident I took him myself by Trench Town playfield and try to train him to get fit to beat those boys at basic champs. I did core work, strength work; I even boil cornmeal porridge to give him more stamina,” said Powell.
“The journey with Jaydon wasn’t easy but as his mom I stood by him and I didn’t give up,” she ended.