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Rising cricketer, Qwinci Babel, finds immense athletic inspiration flowing out of rural Mayaro.

Port of Spain, Trinidad, March 7, 2018
 

It’s only natural for young sportsmen and women to idolize the most decorated and world renowned athletes as personal inspiration towards achieving their sporting goals.

However, 16 year-old cricketer, Qwinci Babel, has somehow veered away from such clichéd catalysts and has been feeding off the exemplary attributes of his community’s rising superstars. Having recently earned the accolade of Tournament Youth MVP following his team’s (Mayaro Mavericks) historic and successful title-defence of the bmobile T10 Community Cricket League, the right-handed batsman credited much of his athletic growth to hometown siblings, Evin (West Indies & T&T batsman) and Ellon Lewis (Mavericks skipper).

Even though the likes of legendary batsmen - Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli - were still held in high regard, the Naparima College student admitted that his constant interactions with the Mayaro homeboys have been more instrumental towards his overall development as an upcoming athlete.

“I look up to local players such as Evin Lewis and his brother Ellon. Evin always tells me to train hard now so the game will become a bit easier technically as I grow. The three of us share a personal relationship because of where we’re from, so we chat frequently and this helps me a lot. Evin’s selection to the regional (WI) team has been progressive and it’s players like him, who come from small beginnings and rural backgrounds, that I look up to.” he said.

On capturing the Youth MVP, Babel received $5,000 worth of cricket gear and equipment from tournament sponsors bmobile. The youngster immediately put them to use as he made his anticipated debut for top-flight squad, PowerGen, when the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) Premiership Division I two-day competition bowled off.

“I am truly thankful to bmobile for the recognition at the T10,” he added. “The cricket gear would be very helpful to me towards achieving the things I want to. As the (2018) season gets underway, I plan to train hard and I’m working towards attaining at least 500 runs for the year. I just want to keep pushing.”

Babel though, accepted that maintaining the right balance between academics and sport was crucial to any athlete’s overall prowess. Now in Form Four at the prestigious southern institution, the youngster also aims to become a National cricketer and eventually, seal a spot into the West Indies team.

“It is a definite challenge to balance school work and academics but it must be done,” he continued. “It’s a lot of sacrifice and you have to put in extra work. Even if it means waking up earlier on mornings to study, then you have to do it. After training on evenings, you get home late and tired so a general extra effort is needed to balance both. A sound education makes an exemplary sportsman. There’s no two ways about that.”

Meanwhile, TSTT’s Vice-President of Marketing, Camille Campbell, was excited for her organisation and its continued support of the T10 CCL for a fourth consecutive year. She lauded Babel and his team’s achievements and reaffirmed TSTT’s intent to be a main contributor of youth and sport enhancement nationally. 

“At bmobile, we view the T10 and Youth MVP award as platforms to extend our reach further into the communities through sport,” she explained. “It is our intention to contribute to Qwinci, and many other potential athletes, on their journey to sporting success. We see immeasurable value in supporting the youth of our nation by any means necessary, especially in such challenging socio-economic times.”

Babel’s timely introduction to the gentleman’s game came while attending Guayaguayare RC Primary School. He was a part of the teams which advanced to the finals of the Atlantic National Primary Schools Cricket League finals in 2012 and 2013. Babel’s cricketing journey then expanded to Guayaguayare Secondary, Princes Town West Secondary but has now smoothened out at Naparima College.