Tennis star locks in U.S. scholarship
Young Samoan athlete, Kristen Clement Pavitt, has signed a tennis scholarship to compete and study in the United States of America.
Pavitt, understood to be the first Samoan athlete to date to receive the scholarship, is excited about the journey ahead. The four year scholarship is set to start in August 2020 at U.S.C. Sumter in South Carolina.
“My sister told me that this was a first for us," he said. "I’m just happy to go out there and represent Samoa.”
He told the Samoa Observer that his overall progress as a tennis player is what caught the eye of the scouts.
Pavitt was approached by Amrit Rai, Founder of Platform Sports Management Agency, one of the most efficient U.S.A. college recruitment services in New Zealand.
The New Zealand based agency assists athletes in gaining college sports scholarships to the United States of America and provides the best opportunity for student athletes to excel in sports and education.
“He helped me and recommended that I play at the college level,” Pavitt said, “and that’s where it all started."
For the past two months, Pavitt has taken part in a rather tough selection process, that had him face off against many other talented athletes from around the world.
“We had to film a video playing a few sets, and show my skills. It was hard because the scouts want certain things from the athletes, and I was very fortunate to have been picked.”
Pavitt's selection was not only based on his tennis talent but also his stellar academic performance. In the end, he was chosen by a handful of American universities and he says he chose the one that felt right for him.
Pavitt has been playing tennis from a young age, competing and representing Samoa all across the Pacific.
“I started playing tennis about seven years ago. I’ve always had this exposure to the sport and it's different cultures.”
The former Samoa College student and recent foundation graduate of the National University of Samoa had travelled to China earlier this year with other local athletes to train for the Pacific Games.
In the United States, he plans to study aviation and geography respectively.
This will be Pavitt’s first time to the United States and he has addressed the problems that he might face while on scholarship.
“I’m expecting to have the usual challenges of homesickness, but this is a whole new vibe for me, and overall I’m just excited.”
His family and friends have reacted to this news with a sense of pride and support, congratulating him on this achievement.
“Everyone is just so happy for him and his success,” says close friend and classmate, Feagaimaalii Soti.
Other notable Samoan athletes on scholarship in the U.S. include best male athlete for this year's Pacific Games, Brandon Schuster, who is studying at California Baptist University.
Pavitt is currently in New Zealand to sign the scholarship. He is one of many in the growing list of young Samoans looking forward to a bright future ahead.