As Queen’s College celebrated a week of excellence, West Indies cricketing brothers Shai and Kyle Hope were the toast of this morning’s celebration at the Husbands, St James School.
Kyle, the older of the two, and Shai, are the first from that educational institution to play for the West Indies senior team and today with their gloves off, they returned to where it all started. Former schoolmates and fellow cricketers including Barbados opening batsman Anthony Alleyne, Ramon Bynoe of Combined Campuses and Colleges along with Nicholas Kirton, former Barbados Under-19 opener and current captain of University of the West Indies Blackbirds to name a few, all came out during general assembly this morning to share in the moment.
As the school motto states ‘Fiat Lux’ which means ‘let there be light’, the rich history of Queen’s College’s sporting excellence shone through when Frieda Nicholls, a former two-time Olympian and the first women to represent Barbados at the Olympic Games in Munich 1972 and Montreal Games 1976, graced the stage as the featured speaker.
A product of Queen’s College herself and one who exemplifies the theme of ‘Celebrating Sporting Excellence’ with several sporting and academic accolades to her name, Nicholls in the presence of principal Dr David Brown, acknowledged the school’s wonderful academic history and achievements and encouraged students to bridge the gap between sports and academics. She added this could open amazing doors for them.
Having been elected in 2015 to the executive committee of the World Olympian Association where she currently represents the Americas, Nicholls explained the importance of sports as a powerful tool that could create endless opportunities.
She said in order for those doors to open, several areas needed to be worked on such as discipline, time management, teamwork, persistence and consistency and learning how to deal with disappointments.
“In sports there are several challenges that you would face; disappointments are a part of a sportsperson’S life. But the ability to deal with disappointments, pick yourself up, go back at it again and do even better is what comes out from sports. You have to learn how to deal with success gracefully, not with arrogance, you have to be confident, and you have to always feel that you are going to succeed because no sports person will ever step onto the field of play feeling they are going to come second. If that is the case you don’t belong there. Whenever you step onto the field of play you are a winner.
“The combination [of sports and academics] is vintage, it opens doors and as we continue to celebrate the wonderful performances of Shai and Kyle Hope, I want you to focus on your academics, manage your time, work on being excellent in your sports or any other extra curriculum activities that you are involved in, focus on being a good citizen, focus on being exceptional, focus on being outstanding, focus on being the very best that you can be, trust me it gives you a wonderful life,” Nicholls told the body of students.
Kyle and Shai who were also students of St Cyprian’s Boys were both overwhelmed with what the school did for them and expressed sincere gratitude.
Shai, who began his journey at Queen’s College in 2005, told those young aspiring cricketers not to aim to be the next Shai Hope, but to aim to be themselves.
He said: “Dedication, you have to put in those tireless hours sometimes knowing that it is going to work out in the end, you are going to succeed and as you continue to put in the work, you are going to get results on the field off the field in the classroom, wherever it is, just make sure you put in the work and you would get results.”
Meanwhile, Kyle who left Queen’s College in 2005 was thankful to his teachers, especially Charmaine Foster, for sacrificing her time to ensure he completed his schoolwork on evenings after practice.
“After being here for five years, knowing all the stress I would have given the teachers, to see them honour me for something I would have done, for those extra hours they put in with me and I want to give a special mention to my teacher Charmaine Foster. She took a couple guys and me after school and made sure we got our work done. It is that dedication we then showed on the cricket field and in practice that got us to this position and it is nice to get recognition this morning,” he said.
The brothers will be leaving the island soon for their next assignment in Zimbabwe.