Swapping the pitch for the track
Football fanatic Etiam surprised himself when, challenged to try a new sport for his Physical Recreation, he discovered a new talent in the form of Athletics.
“To be completely honest, before doing my Award I was pretty shy. I liked football but otherwise spent most of my free time hiding behind social media where I didn’t have to talk to anyone face to face.
“I heard about the Award at school and felt strongly that the four different sections that make up an Award are all really important in life generally and I liked that there was a youth programme that recognised that. I really liked that you are encouraged to take up something new too-to me, that’s part of what makes up a good education. It’s not only about academic study but trying new things, talking to different people and experiencing other ways of life. The Award offers all of this.
“I’m pretty good at football, I love it. So when my teacher encouraged me to try a new sport rather than stick with football, I wasn’t very enthusiastic but I was also looking for something new to do so, reluctantly, I took up the challenge and chose athletics.
“Soon, I had swapped the football pitch for the athletics track and discovered that sprinting was what I wanted to focus on so I dedicated my time to the 400m sprint. I’m currently training for the 2020 Olympics, I can’t really believe it! I know of the Award saying ‘There is more in you than you think’ and I really am a perfect example of this. Without the Award, I would never have tried athletics or discovered my talent.
I know of the Award saying ‘There is more in you than you think’ and I am an example of this.
“I could not be more grateful to the Award for this opportunity. Not only has it introduced me to something I absolutely love but it’s fast tracked my career too. I have always imagined myself in the Army but in Ghana, it is completely over-subscribed and really difficult to get into. When the Army saw the Award on my application and that I was pursuing athletics professionally, they said this was proof of my hard work and dedication and have offered me a position after 2020.
“I cannot shout louder about how brilliant and important the Award is to young people today. It has completed my education in a way I never thought possible. I have learnt so much since my Award journey began-time management; team work; communication. The list goes on! But all these things have meant that I have opened up doors for myself to places I never dreamt of.
“I am busy training hard at the moment but I am determined to become an Ambassador for HOSA, the Award in Ghana, so that I can influence young people and policies on non-formal education in this country.”