He hails from the crime-ravaged community of Gutters in Retirement St. James, but Tavin Shaw, a truly gifted player and the pride and joy of his mother, will not allow where he’s from to define his destination.
The 20-year-old ‘wash-belly’ for his family and self-motivator, has his eyes set on prestige and greatness, methodically mapping a direct path away from crime and violence.
‘Wingy’, as he is affectionately called, dreams of one day becoming a professional footballer as well as an entrepreneur.
A warrior on the field, but quiet and shy off it, Shaw, a graduate of Munro College, holds seven subjects at the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) level, including Mathematics, Principles of Accounts, Principles of Business, English Language, Economics, Social Studies, Information Technology and Human and Social Biology.
He also has three subjects at the CAPE level – Management of Business, Caribbean Studies and Entrepreneurship.
Shaw, who has faced adversities all his life, told the Western Mirror that he has already been exposed to rejection and disappointments, but is adamant it will not define who he is.
“I come from a place where poverty, hunger and crime are all common things. They are a part of everyday life, but I have long been guided by my mother and some close relatives who always made it clear that that would not be my path,” Shaw revealed.
Shaw also said growing up, he has already been exposed to disappointments, but quickly added that so far, with guidance, he has managed to deal with them and has come away stronger.
“So far, I’ve seen my dreams of progress as player handicapped by surgery. I’ve spent more than a year away from the sport I love, not even able to kick a ball, but I’ve survived with the help of family and friends and the wisdom of others,” Shaw said.
He also said the day he was forced to drop out of sixth form in what was his final year at Munro College, was a day he will never forget. However, the young man says with faith, hope and a promise to his mother, he will always fight and that has kept him in line to date.
“I’m a survivor. I’m determined to reach my goals, so I will always press on and continue to look for greener pastures,” the talented midfield ace added.
Soft-spoken off the field and full of laughter, Shaw started out playing football while attending Granville All Age and has been tipped by Hopeton Gilchrist, former National Youth Coach), to one day play an integral part in the National set-up. The wretched COVID-19 has, however, hampered his desires to further his education overseas.
“I had solid offers in the pipeline, but the virus has put a halt to them, so for now, I’ll just wait and see before making the next move,” he said.
Shaw, whose father is a mason, says family is very important to him and admits his parents play a pivotal role in his sporting life, always giving encouragement and support.
COVID A SETBACK
Quizzed if he has ever seen such a shutdown of football, Shaw says no. “Never, this is a first and I’m telling you it’s an eye opener as one minute things were happening and the next we are forced to stay indoors. How quickly life can change.”
Shaw, who had been left frustrated and unable to kick a ball for more than a year, undergoing a near career-ending knee surgery, now plies his trade with Granville in the Parish Major League, and he says the halt of the League, choked by the dreaded COVID-19 virus, has put a halt somewhat on his return to competitive football.
“I was regaining my strength and fitness, playing full 90 minutes, when this virus, out of nowhere, put a halt on proceedings” the shy Shaw told the Western Mirror. “As a team, we were having a somewhat indifferent showing in the League, but personally, I thought I was having a really good going – some assists and a few goals. I was beginning to feel my fitness level rise and my passion was also returning, so the stoppage has halted my progress yes”.
“I hope we will be able to return to the field as soon as possible,” he closed.