Gaining a full athletics scholarship was always one of the ambitions of Ulanda Lewis, considered one of St Vincent and the Grenadines’ best female prospects.
But, having the opportunity to study Obstetrics, another of her aspirations, is equally important.
Lewis, 17, a former student of the Buccament Government School and the Barrouallie Secondary School, jetted off last Tuesday for the USA to attend the University of Alabama.
Before leaving, Lewis vouched: “My goals are basically to make the best of my opportunities”.
She underscored that her aim is to excel at both her track and field prowess, as well as her academics.
As a student of the university, Lewis Ulanda Lewis fulfilling her dreamhas an added boost as she will train at a facility which possesses some of the best track and field apparatus in the country.
The University of Alabama has some Caribbean pedigree, with the likes of Grenadian- Kirani James and Trinidad and Tobago’s Jereem Richards.
James is an Olympic and World Championships gold medallist, while Richards is the reigning Commonwealth Games 200m champion.
Meanwhile, Technical Director of Team Athletics SVG – Chester Morgan , who has coached Lewis from 2016 to 2021, said Lewis’ break could not have come at a better time.
Morgan noted that Lewis’ leaving St Vincent and the Grenadines for the USA, was a project that was always in the pipeline.
“I am happy for her and it is something that is good for track and field here in St Vincent and the Grenadines”, Morgan commented.
Apart from Morgan, Santa Cruickshank had an early hand in Lewis’ track and field development, while she attended primary school.
As well, Team Athletics SVG, the SVG Olympic Committee and the Central Water and Sewerage Authority and others, all gave tangible support to Lewis’ emerging track and field career.
Lewis has been groomed for this type of international exposure, having dominated the 100 and 200m on the local scene , especially at the secondary schools’ level, notching up multiple records.
She is also a double bronze medallist at the Junior Carifta level, pouching two third places in the 100 and 200 at the Cayman Islands edition in 2019.