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Somerset athletes receive cash boost

Five of Somerset's best young student athletes are the first recipients of the Clyde Best Scholarship Fund, each receiving $2,000 to assist with their studies abroad.

Cricketers Greg Maybury and Joshua Gilbert, footballers Jaz Ratteray-Smith and Ras Stafari Burrows and Justin Donawa, who excels in three sports (football, track and field and cricket), were all presented with cheques yesterday by Best and club president Alfred Maybury.

“The funds came from hosting a golf tournament and we will be having another one on June 6,” Maybury said.

“I want to thank Greg Maybury and Alex Madeiros and their [Port Royal] staff, CellOne, the lead sponsors of the golf tournament.

“Also Rochelle Quinn and the staff at the Fairmont [Southampton] for the banquet we held there.

“All of these young men have been doing exceptionally well academically. We will look to raise even more funds next year and will be having events throughout the year. And it is not a scholarship specifically for males, but all males applied.”

Greg Maybury, Burrows and Ratteray-Smith are studying in England while Donawa will attend Dartmouth College in the United States on a football scholarship next year.

Gilbert is in his final semester at the Bermuda College before heading overseas next year to study dentistry.

Gilbert, 21, who made his Cup Match debut at the age of 15, said: “I'm Somerset through and through and there's no other club that I would rather represent.

“It's a privilege to receive this award, it will help me finish at the Bermuda College and hopefully further my education in September in the UK and then come back and give back to my Somerset community.”

Ratteray-Smith, 17, is in his last year at Harefield Academy in North London and wants to study sports management.

“I'm very grateful for this award and appreciate Mr Best giving his time and effort to put this award together to give young people scholarships towards academics,” Ratteray-Smith said. “I hear a lot about Clyde Best everywhere I go.”

Maybury, 21, is in his final year at the University of Wales where he is studying accounting.

“It is difficult pursuing excellence in each of our sports and Mr Best not only did it at the highest level but with obstacles that we luckily don't have to face today,” said Maybury, the Cup Match MVP award on his debut in 2012.

Burrows, 18, is studying at Manchester University where he is pursuing a degree in sports coaching.

“I'm very grateful because not every day an opportunity like this comes around,” said Burrows, who like Donawa and Ratteray-Smith, made an appearance for the Trojans during the Friendship Trophy over Christmas.

Donawa, 18, is a triple jumper, but will attend Dartmouth College next year on a football scholarship.

“I'm really honoured to receive this award alongside these other gentlemen who I grew up and played sports with,” Donawa said.

His father, Jay Donawa, an experienced runner, praised the decision by Somerset Cricket Club to make the scholarships possible.

“Being from Somerset and coming up in the programme and being the parent of an athlete who represents Somerset, I think this is a really good thing that the club has done,” Donawa said.

Asked which sport is his son's strongest, Donawa replied: “I'm probably biased, it is track, but he feels his best avenue is through football.

“I think if he sticks with track then in 2016 he could make a real push to make Bermuda's Olympic team.”

Best said that it was a privilege to have his name associated with the scholarship, having recently also had a street outside Somerset Cricket Club named after him.

Photograph by Akil Simmons Best in West: front row from left - Maybury, the Somerset Cricket Club president, Gilbert, Maybury, Burrows. Back row from left - Carlton Best, Donawa, Ratteray-Smith and Bermuda legend Clyde Best, after whom the scholarship fund has been named

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Published December 31, 2014 at 8:00 am (Updated December 30, 2014 at 9:13 pm)

Somerset athletes receive cash boost

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