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Tia set on her dream

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The only constant thing in life is change, and for 19-year-old Tia Briggs-Thompson it is no different, as she settles into her new spot as a student-athlete at the North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC).

And despite arriving late and having to spend two weeks in quarantine, she is not about to be fazed by the small obstacles in her path.

The former Combermarian is pursuing a business major on a two-year scholarship to the midwestern based United States university.

“I am trying to catch up with my work because I got here four days after the semester started. I’ll be here for two years and then I’ll be travelling to a four-year university to finish off my two years,” she said matter-of-factly.

Briggs-Thompson, who recently celebrated her birthday, said she had her heart set on which university she wanted to attend, and was thinking seriously of Iowa State University, but she said it was still up for grabs where she eventually settled.

In 2017, she was captain of the Barbados Football Association’s Under-17 national team in the Concacaf Under-17 Girls Championship, and secured a brace against Guyana where the young Lady Tridents secured a 5-1 victory.

Briggs-Thompson also had a good showing in last year’s Concacaf Women’s Olympic Caribbean Qualifying Competition, before teaming up with Kiwanis Club Pride of Barbados and the Barbados Cancer Society to raise awareness in the fight against breast cancer.

The biggest hurdle for the center back, who was on loan to Mavericks from Eden Stars was adjusting to the COVID-19 protocols in Iowa, noting that in Barbados everyone was laid back about the global pandemic.

“Here in Iowa, I have to quarantine for two weeks before I can actually go to my classes, so all my classes have been moved to online for the remaining time. Being in quarantine I’m now working out the kinks of it, but it’s not a problem for me. I like new changes in life so it’s okay for me,” she said.

She added the reason why she chose NIACC was because of the whole COVID-19 situation and how a lot of universities around the world were being shut down as a result.

“A community college to me was the best decision because of small classes and I didn’t want to take a gap year (a year off from studies). If I did the classes online I wouldn’t be able to play soccer and soccer is Barbados is not as developed as American soccer,” she said. 

Head coach of the Under-20 Lady Tridents, Mario Harte said this was a step in the right direction which would redound to the benefit of other female players.

“It is a good opportunity and I support anything for the girls to get the exposure outside of Barbados. We don’t play enough Women’s Football locally, so I am glad that more and more females are getting the opportunity to go overseas. It would help the national team in the long run; the girls being exposed to the different levels of training and playing more often and I can only hope that more girls get more opportunities as the years go on,” he said.

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