By Davion Smith, BVI News Journalist
Local sprinter Nelda Huggins is making massive strides in the United States (US).
The 20-year-old athlete, who is in her final year at a junior college in the US, has caught the eye of a number of top-notch universities that are willing to shell out big bucks to sign her to their respective athletic programmes.
Huggins has been approached by schools such as University of Alabama, University of Iowa, and University of Oklahoma.
However, it was the nationally-acclaimed University of Texas that was successful in its bid to sign the rising British Virgin Islands track star.
“I felt it was a good decision for me because Texas is a big school for sprinting. Going there is a great opportunity and it should be a great experience… Texas was the best pick out of all of them,” Huggins said during an interview with BVI News.
Texas University has promised Huggins a full scholarship comprising tuition and boarding.
She said signing with the school comes with a number of other perks.
“For athletics I’ll be provided with a masseuse, chiropractors, and a nutritionist to maintain my body weight and overall standard of a track athlete. They are offering everything that could keep my body healthy.”
As for the academics package, Huggins said: “They have offered counseling, and I have access to the things that will make me a top student.”
She is scheduled to attend university next September.
Meanwhile, the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) in the US has ranked the BVI sprinter at number one for the women’s 100 metres, and at number seven for the 200 metre-dash.
“I was also the 60-metre national champion and I was the record holder for my school [at Iowa Central Community College].”
“For me, making a big name as a small island country student actually makes them see that Nelda Huggins is a hard worker and that the BVI has talent,” said Huggins who is from East End on Tortola.
“Being from a small island of just 24 square miles and standing out in the United States of America feels really good because I want to help bring the island on the map,” added Huggins.
The sprinter said she plans to run all the way into professional athletics, adding that she attended St Jago High School in Jamaica primarily so she could train.
Huggins hopes to represent the BVI at the next staging of the Commonwealth games.
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