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.
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