Jara Emtage-Cave, one of Barbados’ young exceptional female rugby players, has gained acceptance into Harvard University.
Rated among the top three universities in the world, Emtage-Cave who is part of the Barbados Rugby Union Senior National Women’s team and also an equestrian, said it felt absolutely great to be accepted into such a prestigious institution.
In an interview with Barbados TODAY, the 18-year-old explained that this would not be her first time gracing the halls of Harvard having attended there in 2018 for a summer course in chemistry.
“I know for most people it is a dream school, so just to be given the opportunity feels great. I went to summer school there in 2018 and honestly, I wasn’t really focusing too heavily on where I was going to University, I just wanted to get exposed to chemistry. I really like chemistry so I did a chemistry course there (Havard), so I wanted to get exposed to higher-level courses and just get a feel for University.
“I really like the campus, the teaching staff were great, so I kind of said wow this seems like a place for me. So, after that I set out little goals for myself, I took the SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) and I kind of knew what range I wanted to get in order to go there. While there (for summer course) I found out they had a rugby team, so I was like ‘sign me up’,” Emtage-Cave said.
With her love for science and the fact that her grandfather and uncle are both doctors, one would think Emtage-Cave was destined for that very same career path. Well, think again. The gifted athlete said she was leaving her options open.
“I started out interested in sciences because I thought that naturally I would go into being a doctor as well. But then I found I was more interested in just pure sciences instead of the medical profession. I am more interested in research, maybe working in the pharmaceutical industry or something like that. But not really putting a label on it because I want to explore different areas,” she said.
As a student-athlete, Emtage-Cave tries her best to prioritise and likes to keep physically active. A well-mannered and humble young lady, Emtage-Cave praised her support team of family, coaches and friends who keeps her motivated and grounded as an individual.
Currently finishing off unit two of the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE), Emtage-Cave is hoping to achieve a Barbados scholarship before departing for Harvard.
In fact, Emtage-Cave will be joining fellow Barbadian Tre Hollingsworth, a Barbados Scholar and Exhibition winner who represented Barbados in hurdles at the CARIFTA Games and is currently based at Harvard pursuing his studies.
Emtage-Cave is not certain when she will depart to begin her new chapter but is hoping to be there by September or the second semester in January once the COVID-19 restrictions ease. Most universities around the world right now are conducting online classes because of the pandemic.
Harvard based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America, has not yet decided whether they will do physical or online classes but Emtage-Cave explained that a decision should be made by July.
While at Harvard, Emtage-Cave who plays the fly-half position on the Barbados rugby team is hoping to learn as much as she can in the sport. Her love for rugby began in the second form as a 13-year-old student at Harrison College.
“In Barbados, we usually play sevens and the competition is localized, so we play amongst the islands and ourselves. But we don’t get the opportunity to play different teams and consistently, so I wanted the opportunity to play rugby at University because I know I would get just so many more games and so many more experiences.
“That was the vision and goal that I had and I am hoping for more of a long term goal. I am just hoping to learn all that I can while away and bring the skills back here to Barbados to grow the game,” said the talented Emtage-Cave who hopes to one day captain the senior women’s rugby team.
Like most athletes that have been affected during this COVID-19 pandemic, Emtage-Cave has had to put both sports she loves, rugby and horse riding on pause. She said: “The girls on the rugby team have been doing a really good job with fitness sessions on Zoom. So, even though we are not really able to keep current without skills like passing, tackling. We have been trying to keep our fitness up, so they have been doing a good job.”