Ugandan 'super athlete' Rodgers says he's fallen in love with Jamaica


Ugandan 'super athlete' Rodgers says he's fallen in love with Jamaica

Saturday, July 04, 2020

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Ugandan Aryamanya Rodgers, who will be leaving Kingston College (KC) to USA-based Grambling State University (GSU), says his experience in Jamaica was simply amazing.

Rodgers, who came to Jamaica as a 15-year-old from the East African country, became a household name after he helped the school win both the prestigious Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships (Champs) and the Manning Cup football tournament.

Not many persons in modern times can stake claim to that feat, hence his legend status at KC.

“It's almost four years since I have been in the land of wood and water and the experience was quite amazing because I was welcomed very well and felt like home,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

“The kindness of Jamaican people can't be explained. The amazing beauty of the island with great beaches and lovely people having fun was also a good experience,” he added.

He continued: “Coming to KC was a good opportunity for me. First I have to thank the KC fraternity, led by the principal Mr Dave Myrie. Joining KC was a great experience and became more than a family to me. The world wouldn't know me if it wasn't for KC. Always thankful for that.”

Rodgers, who is the 2000m steeplechase record holder with 5:49.46 in 2018 and also won the 5000m in 15:07 58 in 2017, has gained a full athletics scholarship to GSU where he will be majoring in engineering. He will be leaving KC after picking up seven subjects.

“I feel great on joining GSU because I was able to get the course that I wanted and that's Engineering Technology,” said Rodgers, who in addition to his academics, wants to “be a professional athlete”.

The talented athlete, who also scored eight goals while helping KC end their 31-year Manning Cup drought, once said he hoped to represent Jamaica.

“Am still holding on making the decision on that. Uganda contacted me a year ago, but in my mind I wasn't ready. Therefore, I will be informing you later on,” Rodgers explained.

Rodgers will be joined at GSUe by Edwin Allen High's Abigail Pinnock. The Tigers, as they are called, are known for their cross-country and long-distance prowess.

Grambling State's athletic teams compete in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

— Howard Walker

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