AT just 15 years old, Shakera Classe is already creating havoc for her opponents in the defence area.
The Bruce Ville, Vieux Fort resident and student of Beanefield Comprehensive Secondary School told The VOICE earlier this week, that her favourite subject is Mathematics because it involves creativity and problem-solving and that she is curious about solving problems.
Classe is set to represent Saint Lucia in a few days’ time when the Saint Lucia Football Association (SLFA) stages the CONCACAF Caribbean Women’s Under-17 Qualifier Group F matches at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground. Bermuda, Antigua and Barbuda and Aruba are also participants in the matches.
She said she is confident Saint Lucia will do well in the upcoming qualifier since she has played with the girls before and knows them pretty well.
“My football exploits started when I was 12 years old because while growing up with only boys in the family, they all were playing football and from there I had an interest in the game,” she said.
A member of the Vieux Fort South Under-15 team coached by Denroy Mathurin, Vieux Fort South has for the last two years won the SLFA Under-15 championships.
Here are some insights into the player and her love for the game.
The VOICE: Who encouraged you in the first place to play football?
Shakera: My mother and other family members and close friends. They also support me at all my games.
The VOICE: What other sports have you participated in before, and why the switch to football?
Shakera: I have participated in netball and track and field and the reason why I switched to football was because I started loving the game more than the other sports and thought that I would do a better job in football.
The VOICE: What is the biggest accomplishment in your sport to date?
Shakera: My biggest accomplishment in the sport is being the captain and winning back-to-back titles in the Saint Lucia Football Association’s Under-15 girls’ championship.
The VOICE: Who are your favourite local and international football players, and why?
Shakera: My favourite local player is Noah Nicholas, who plays for Vieux Fort South. He is a hardworking footballer and has lots of confidence in what he does. He won’t let anything prevent him from reaching his goals. My favourite international football player is Spain’s defender Sergio Ramos because he has a lot of talent and his reliability in defence has made him a regular for Spain, for which he made his international debut at just 19. Also, we are both captains of our teams and play the same positions.
The VOICE: Who are your sports heroes and what do you admire most about them?
Shakera: I admire Sergio Ramos and Christian Ronaldo’s skills.
The VOICE: How do you prepare for a championship?
Shakera: I prepare for a championship by being fit, working hard at training, keeping my body hydrated regularly, taking good rest and staying away from drugs and alcohol.
The VOICE: How many times have you represented your club and Saint Lucia?
Shakera: I have represented my club for the last four years and at the national level on two occasions.
The VOICE: How far would you like to go as it relates to representing Saint Lucia in football?
Shakera: I would like to represent Saint Lucia both at the FIFA World Cup and Olympic Games levels and at some point in my career be able to play professional football.
The VOICE: What do you think are keys to your success?
Shakera: The keys to my success are handwork, motivation, self-confidence and encouragement.
The VOICE: What do you do during your spare time?
Shakera: In my spare time, I usually do some light training at home on my own and hang out with my friends.
The VOICE: What words of advice or encouragement do you have for younger footballers in VFS?
Shakera: I would want them to do their best to strive for their goals and not let anything stop them from reaching their goals. Make all the sacrifices you can for something you love.