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Sun, Nov

Ronaldo Jacob, poses with a trophy he won for being the player of a match after his North-South Classic football tournament at the Manny-Ramjohn stadium. PHOTO COURTESY RONALDO JACOB - RONALDO JACOB
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Ronaldo Jacob has overcome many hurdles in his quest to pursue his football dreams.

A very ambitious young man, Jacob was due to travel to Arkansas, United States in September to take up a partial scholarship at Lyon College.

Because it is a partial scholarship, the former St Anthony’s College and Trinity College Moka student needed to raise a minimum of US$15,000 to cover the first year of college, but the effort of his support team has been hampered by the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I was hoping to raise some funds, more fundraisers to help aid the cost to get over there, so the pandemic kind of held back the (effort), but am still trying,” he said.

Mavis Perez has now set up a gofundme account - gofundme - with a view of assisting the 20-year-old Pashley Street footballer to achieve his goals.

The target is US$16,500 of which US$3,698 has so far been donated.

Named after legendary Brazil forward Ronaldo De Lima, Jacob’s journey as a student-athlete has been one characterised by his determination, even in the face of danger.

It is not the norm for a Laventille player to end up at Trinity College, Moka or St Anthony‘s College and even less to end up at an American University. To get there, Jacob has had to overcome some restrictions due to the negative influence of the “hot spot” community in which he lives.

“My only challenge was based on my training, because not every time it would be safe hours to go outside to do the training. But, I still found the time to go out,” he said.

And it is this same Laventille community that he hopes to give back to after completing college. His biggest dream will be to play professionally, otherwise he hopes to get in on coaching and already assists some of the younger players in the area on evenings through sessions at the Fernandez Compound, Laventille,

“Coach Sheldon Fraser, I help him out. Because I grew up there as well, I help him out with the youths, and because they also look up to me,” Jacob added.

Jacob’s journey also took him to the Queen’s Park Cricket Club where he was a member of their men’s Super League football team. The club is taking a leading part in his fund-raising effort.

“You may remember the great news earlier in the year of QPCC men’s senior team player, Ronaldo Jacob attaining a scholarship to Lyon College.

“Well, COVID scuppered some of his fundraising ventures and he’s asking for our community support. Check the GoFundMe link in the bio. Any support would be greatly appreciated,” QPCC stated on its social media pages.