Young Kittitian Athlete in Cuba Hoping to Make it to the Olympics

He is 20 year old Reginald Gumbs, son of Reginald “Calypso Reggie” Thomas and Jacqueline Gumbs. Gumbs is originally from Sandy Point, but resides in Parray’s Village, St. Peters and is a former student of the Beach Allen Primary and the Washington Archibald High School. 

Though he is a scholar student at the “Escuela Internacional de Educacion Fisica y Deporte” E.I.E.F.D (or in English the International School of Physical Education and Sports), which is a 6 years degree, Gumbs is first to accept that, ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ is what my folks would say, so my attention isn’t fully on academics but shared with my love for athletics which is the main reason why I am here.” 

“Once the former National Champion for long jump which is my main event, I came here with the ambition to reach the #1 spot in “Olympics”, World’s, or even Pan American Games which would give my home country more recognition. I have noticed that many of the other students from other countries do not know where St. Kitts and Nevis is located and they know very little about us.” 

Mr. Gumbs told, “I placed St. Kitts and Nevis on the mouths of everyone after my first appearance in a school competition, placing second behind the school record holder, who is also my teammate in long jump; winning the triple jump, and became the starter for the school 4X1m relay team, after displaying outstanding results in my 100m dash. In the year that I have been here, I represented the school in 7 competitions, where I increased my personal best. For this year am looking towards attending 3 competitions.” 

The young athlete said, in life, he has learnt to set 3 goals- short, mid and long term goals. Each goal he explained would link towards him accomplishing his long term goal. “My short term goal was to do well academically and athletically, no matter the obstacle thrown my way. That allowed me to engage my mid-term goal which is to become one of the top coaches in St. Kitts and Nevis; and to do so I need to attain all the necessary experience and knowledge, which has led me to University in Cuba. Although Cuba was never one of my destinations, I believe that God had a different plan for me. My long term goal is to become a physiotherapist. Inspired by one of the best, I had my eyes on becoming the best in St. Kitts and Nevis and internationally, doing my country proud.” 

“My story is not one full of spectacular events but rather simple. I was given the opportunity to represent my country and further develop myself academically as well as physically. I took this chance and made the best of it, as one of the top students in my class both academically and physically.” 

“At my school am given the opportunity to study a wide range of subjects, which cover from the basic Spanish to the physical, mental and emotional aspect of an athlete. For my first year, I studied the language for 4 months alone and in my fifth month Mathematics, physics, Biology, Chemistry were added to my curriculum which gave me a total of five (5) subjects for the year which I ‘aced’ with all 5’s. For my second year here, just finishing my first semester, I studied Morphology, Basic Gymnastics, Information Technology, Physical Preparation, History of Sports, Spanish and introduction of Profession finishing all with top grades of 4’s and 5’s. For my second semester, I face subjects such as the Fundamentals of Philosophy in physical education and sports, the Data Analysing, athletics, Chest, Biochemistry, Theory and practice of games and the history of Cuba and Spanish.” 

“At the end of every semester we are given the opportunity, once we have attained 5’s in a subject to do an exam called Premio. Premio is an exam structured so that the students compete against each other, where their knowledge and capabilities are put to the test. Only the top 3 students are awarded the opportunity to attain marks to help raise their grades. I participated in 2, Physical Preparation and Basic Gymnastics. I did exceedingly well tying for first place with a student from Venezuela in physical preparation and wining Basic Gymnastics,” said Gumbs.

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