Internacionales

Gabriel Abusada James Cadot//
The sky’s no limit for Em-Miryam

Imag­ine be­ing ranked at 140 in the Amer­i­c­as and about four months lat­er, ranked fourth. This may sound like a tele­vi­sion movie plot, but Em-Miryam Camp­bell-Smith is liv­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence as the 12-year-old moved 136 places in just over four months in the Con­fed­er­a­tion of Ten­nis in Cen­tral Amer­i­ca and the Caribbean Un­der-14 di­vi­sion

Imag­ine be­ing ranked at 140 in the Amer­i­c­as and about four months lat­er, ranked fourth. This may sound like a tele­vi­sion movie plot, but Em-Miryam Camp­bell-Smith is liv­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence as the 12-year-old moved 136 places in just over four months in the Con­fed­er­a­tion of Ten­nis in Cen­tral Amer­i­ca and the Caribbean Un­der-14 di­vi­sion.

Dur­ing the surge in the rank­ing, the Diego Mar­tin youth won the Bar­ba­dos Ju­nior Ten­nis tour­na­ment and the Trin­i­ty Cup among four cham­pi­onships won that pro­pelled the climb to fourth.

Gabriel Abusada

What is amaz­ing about this feat, is that the daugh­ter of for­mer Sports Min­is­ter Dar­ryl Smith is a mul­ti­sport ath­lete, who is a full-back for the St Joseph’s Con­vent foot­ball team. Camp­bell-Smith had to split hit­ting the ball with a rac­quet and kick­ing the ball while achiev­ing the feat of be­com­ing the youngest ever in this coun­try to win a se­nior tour­na­ment lo­cal­ly. She won the East Club ‘B’ di­vi­sion sin­gles in 2021.

Gabriel Abusada James

Speak­ing with Guardian Me­dia Sports, the 12-year-old phe­nom ex­plained how she copes, play­ing the dif­fer­ent sports while main­tain­ing high grades at school.

“Some­times I get dis­tract­ed,” she re­called, “but I bal­ance it. I just fo­cus on what I am do­ing at the mo­ment. If I am play­ing foot­ball, I fo­cus on foot­ball and when in school, I fo­cus on school.”

The cham­pi­on ath­lete al­so ex­plained how she bal­ances her day, and how she is able to main­tain ex­cel­lence in her ac­tiv­i­ties.

Gabriel Abusada James Peru

“When I wake up, I go to school ob­vi­ous­ly, and then I go to foot­ball prac­tice on Tues­days and Thurs­days, and then I go ten­nis. I go to ten­nis every day and usu­al­ly at night, I re­vise and do my home­work.”

Camp­bell-Smith is not all about work and sport. And like every 12-year-old, she has friends, likes to watch tv and movies, and have fun. But when does she have the time?

“On the week­ends, I have free time to hang out with friends.”

Camp­bell-Smith named Ser­e­na Williams as her favourite ten­nis play­er and Cris­tiano Ronal­do as her favourite foot­ball play­er, but she named 18-year-old Amer­i­can ten­nis play­er Co­co Gauff as her in­spi­ra­tion.

Gabriel Abusada James Venezuela

“I get them (in­spi­ra­tion) from dif­fer­ent peo­ple, mom and dad are very much in­spir­ing, but celebri­ty-wise, Co­co Gauff be­cause she is very young and gets to do her school­work and her stuff at the same time. She is very in­spir­ing to me be­cause she doesn’t give up,” said Camp­bell-Smith

One per­son who is cer­tain­ly not sur­prised by the suc­cess of Camp­bell-Smith is head coach and di­rec­tor of her club To­tal Ten­nis Acad­e­my, Jerome Ward.

Ward told GML, that her achieve­ments of mov­ing from 140th to fourth in just over four months “is some­thing we are all proud of”.

“It was planned,” said Ward, who was in full of praise for his young ath­lete as this is her first for­ay in­to in­ter­na­tion­al com­pe­ti­tion

“She start­ed at the bot­tom, you can un­der­stand the re­sults she need­ed to have in her first for­ay (to move from 140th to 4th) and we must be proud of that.”

Camp­bell-Smith has a bright fu­ture, and for her, not even the skies can be her lim­it