More than a scholarship, it’s a chance to help build a program as an EDSS athlete accepts an offer that kicks in following graduation.
“I kind of felt like I proved myself, because no one knew who I was until this year,” Jasmine Wilson said of placing third in javelin at Canadian Junior Nationals in Winnipeg last summer, an accomplishment that helped earn her a full scholarship to the school of her choice.
The opportunity to become one of the faces of a new university javelin program saw Wilson choose to become a Husky at Northern Illinois University (NIU).
“For javelin they are just starting up their program, so I’m going to be kind of like the starting face of it. Their sprinters and their hurdlers and their jumpers are all really good … they have one of the best facilities,” she said.
Now in her fifth year at EDSS, Wilson received a full scholarship from the school as one of about 11 forerunners meant to put the institution’s new javelin program on the map through successful training and future athletic events.
“I’m hoping within my four to five years I can make a really good program there – that’s the goal. I’m nervous because I’m going to be competing against every age group and I’ll be coming in as a freshman, but I’m excited,” Wilson said.
Last Sunday she met at EDSS with family and friends to commemorate her official acceptance into the university by signing some final documentation.
Wilson caught the eye of recruiters after showing her best performance at the Canadian Junior Nationals in Winnipeg last summer with a personal best of 45.62 metres.
Backed up by her coach, Wilson is preparing for the start of a rigorous training schedule meant to prepare her for future success at the university. She is training with Waterloo Athletics Club (WAC), where she’s been a member for about a year.
“We’ve been working hard and getting some strong results,” said coach Ian Morton.
As for Wilson’s choice, he said she is on the right track.
“I have a lot of athletes that end up in Ontario universities, which is great but with her specialty in Javelin the only opportunities really out there are down south.”
Following regular 5 a.m. wakeup calls, Wilson said training will take place five days a week at the university’s facilities, with another three days of weight training as she prepares to compete against athletes of varying age groups.
Wilson will be studying business administration at NIU, but she still has many dreams for her athletic career, hoping for a minor in coaching as well.
“I guess the big goal is the Olympics, but one day I’d like to be a coach,” she said.