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Dwight Yorke

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“Make sure you prepare right, have your vision and your dream.”

This was the advice that former T&T and Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke imparted on students who will begin writing the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) as well as the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations next Tuesday.

Yorke was the featured speaker at the Caribbean Association of Principals of Secondary Schools’ (CAPSS) Faith and Confidence Ceremony for the Caribbean’s graduating classes for 2020.

The webinar also featured a greeting from CARICOM chairman Dr Ralph Gonzales and a benediction from Roman Catholic Bishop of Grenada Clive Harvey.

In an interactive session, Yorke recalled growing up in Tobago, playing football, cricket and badminton while balancing his school work. He told students that through hard work, he represented T&T in football at the Under 12, 14 and 16 teams and soon made it into the senior men’s team. It was the same effort that he put into sports that he said students must emulate in going forward.

He admitted that it was daunting, moving to away from his family to trying to begin a professional career in England. At times life got so hard that he wanted to give up. However, he said, persevering toward his goal helped him excel into a world-class player.

Yorke had an illustrious career in the English Premier League playing for Aston Villa, Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers, Birmingham City and Sunderland. He also played in the Australian A-League with Sydney FC.

He told the student that while he succeeded as a player, he went into management where plans did not go as he hoped.

“I failed in management, but I am going back again. Let failure be your motivator,” Yorke said.

According to CAPSS, the COVID-19 pandemic forced schools to close their doors, preventing the usual rites of passage for the 110,000 students who will write this year’s examinations. To fill this breach CAPSS, organised yesterday’s ceremony to “bless our students as they enter their examination phase with spiritual confidence and purpose even as they traverse the challenges posed by the pandemic.”