Meet 16 Year Old Cherese Darcheville.
SHE is only 16 years old and already making a name for herself. She is a first year student at Sir Arthur Lewis Community College and her favourite sport is table tennis. She is also one of the female nominees for this year’s National Sports Awards scheduled for February 18.
Cherese Darcheville is a former student of St. Joseph’s Convent but attended the Bonne Terre Preparatory.
“I excelled academically. I acquired eight distinctions, a grade one and a grade 2s. Upon graduation, I received eight awards which consisted of a combination of both academic and sporting awards,” she said.
Darcheville spoke with The VOICE recently and revealed a great deal about herself.
The VOICE: What is your favourite subjects as well as other subjects you’re currently studying?
Cherese: My favourite subject is Biology. I am also pursuing studies in Chemistry, Spanish and Communication Studies. I’m also in my first semester and on the Dean’s list.
The VOICE: How long have you been playing table tennis?
Cherese: I have been playing the sport for roughly three and a half years.
The VOICE: What other sports have you participated in before and why the switch?
Cherese: I have experimented with a variety of sports, including volleyball, basketball and track and field. However, I have developed a passion for table tennis because I seem to have a natural talent for it.
The VOICE: Who got you started?
Cherese: Playing table tennis was a lunchtime hobby at St. Joseph’s Convent with former teacher, Geraldine Samuel. One afternoon, my current coach, Chris Wells, visited the school and gave me the opportunity to train with him.
The VOICE: What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?
Cherese: To date, I have obtained national awards as Junior Female Table Tennis Player of the Year for 2014 and 2015 and I am a nominee for the 2016 award..
The VOICE: What is your current ranking?
Cherese: I am ranked at number one for the Under-18 female category.
The VOICE: What do you think are keys to your success?
Cherese: I believe consistency in training and enthusiasm for the sport are fundamentals to my success.
The VOICE: Is it difficult to balance sports and school work?
Cherese: It is not difficult if you are committed and focused. I am convinced that sports in general are beneficial to the development of balanced young adults.
The VOICE: How much time do you spend training?
Cherese: I am committed to putting a minimal of 10 hours a week into training.
The VOICE: What would be your ultimate achievement?
Cherese: My ultimate achievement is to bring home a regional table tennis title.
The VOICE: How do you set your goals?
Cherese: I set challenges for myself and visualize my ultimate success in accomplishing them. I put in the hard work that is necessary to achieve them.
The VOICE: What is your biggest challenge, and what do you do to manage this challenge?
Cherese: My biggest challenge is finding time to socialize with my friends as my schedule is often a bit tight. To manage this problem, I focus more on the quality time rather than quantity of time I spend with them.
The VOICE: What is your diet like?
Cherese: Like most teenagers, I am not extremely disciplined when it comes to my diet. I enjoy balanced home-cooked meals as well as some junk food here and there.
The VOICE: Are there any foods that you need to avoid and how difficult is it to control your diets?
Cherese: I try to stay away from fried foods on tournament days. Apart from the occasional cravings for junk food, managing my diet is not a difficult task.
The VOICE: What do you believe differentiates you from your contemporaries?
Cherese: The lack of support from families and the unavailability of financial resources to assist with training may have contributed to my contemporaries’ departure from sports. Also, some may lack the discipline that is necessary to be successful.
The VOICE: Have your parents always been supportive of your sporting activities?
Cherese: Yes. They have been extremely supportive, dedicating their time and resources to help me reach my full potential.
The VOICE: Who are your sports heroes and what you admire most about them?
Cherese: I have always admired my coach, Chris Wells, for the unwavering dedication and hard work he puts into the development of table tennis in Saint Lucia.
The VOICE: What was the best advice you were ever given and by whom?
Cherese: My mom always tells me that I can achieve whatever goals I put my mind to as long as I am willing to do the hard work and make the sacrifices that are necessary. Coach Wells tells me to put in the effort that others are not willing to invest to get the results that they won’t get.
The VOICE: Do you have a saying or motto that you live by?
Cherese: Like we say at St. Joseph’s Convent, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
The VOICE: From where do you draw your inspiration?
Cherese: My motivation is drawn from my immediate and extended families who have supported me in my endeavours.
The VOICE: What words of advice or encouragement do you share with younger athletes at the Table Tennis Centre?
Cherese: That teamwork is the key in achieving your goals. To be respectful and appreciative of your colleagues and don’t be afraid to ask for advice when you need it and to lift each other up in times of difficulty.
The VOICE: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Cherese: One’s life consists of many aspects which must be managed. It is imperative that you strike a balance in areas such as spirituality, academics, sports, family, health, etc. Love yourself enough to work for the life that you feel you deserve.