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De Boulet excels in sport, academics
Chequeda De Boulet, the T&T junior badminton ace has been steadily carving a path for others to follow in the future.
Fresh from her triumph at the Caribbean Regional Badminton Confederation (CAREBACO) Junior International 2018 in Paramaribo, Suriname where she claimed three medals, De Boulet then returned to the badminton courts to earn the top spot and silverware at the National Juniors at the Sangre Grande Multi-Purpose Complex a week ago.
But success didn't only stop there for the 17-year old prodigy, as she swooped up 10 subjects at the recent CSEC Examinations which included eight ones and four distinctions. Her mother Sharlene De Boulet said she believes sports and/or any other extracurricular activity helps to achieve balance in life generally, as well as produce a more all-around individual.
A model student at St Joseph's Convent in San Fernando, Chequeda attained Grade ones in Math, English Language, English Literature, History, Spanish, French, Principles of Business, Biology and Food and Nutrition. She received a grade two in Geography.
Chequeda's success story, like many, entails a combination of determination, a will to make sacrifices, support from equally ambitious parents and a heart that epitomizes a true champion. Only a few years after being introduced to the sport at school, Chequeda was forced to sideline her first love of football to begin another sport that had been alien to her in 2013.
Still, however, she prevailed in the learning stages, gobbling up every bit of advice given to her by coach Arnand Maharaj. For Maharaj however, his new-found talent had already been equipped with the making of greatness for both school and country.
Progress came quicker than expected, as Chequeda would leave the comfort of her home in St Croix, Princes Town in the deep southland, for a daring trip to Valencia to train three times a week, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. She was accompanied by her father John, a taxi driver by profession, who also shared in her dream to become great, by leaving work earlier to take his daughter there.
And despite being drained by the weekly training sessions, Chequeda still picked up her near lifeless body up to complete her routine with intense studies.
Chequeda's determination quickly made her the pride of the Princes Town community, before she attained her biggest achievement in the sport to date, copping a silver medal in the Women’s Singles Under-19 category at the Carebaco, a gold in the women's doubles at the same tournament when she teamed up with Guyana's Priyanna Ramdhani, before securing silver medal in the Mixed Doubles with fellow T&T partner Vance Juteram.
The TT pair sealed the title with a 15-21, 21-17, 21-17 win over home duo Geordan Tjon Kon Joe and Mangroe of Suriname.
In Sangre Grande, Chequeda defeated Sandhya Cassie in two sets 20-22, 21-14 and 21-16 in the final, a match that came after she prevailed over Ananda Ramsingh by a walk-over in the semi-finals. Later in the Girls Doubles, she combined with Johanna Walker to beat the team of Cassie and Ramsingh in the final 21-16, 21-11.
She just missed out on a clean sweep in the mixed doubles affair thereafter, when she teamed up with Nathaniel Khillawan and went down to the Cassie pair of Leon and Sandhya in the final 21-23, 22-20 and 21-14.
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