Foster has eyes set on CARIFTA gold
She was not akin to athletics, but after local scouts spotted her at a regular schools’
competition, channelling her in the right direction just about a year and a half ago, Andrea Foster has become one of the best junior female athletes in Guyana at the moment.
It is indeed a fact that one has to be extremely talented to win a CARIFTA Games medal with so little of history on their side; Foster is more than an exception; she is an athletic phenom that has a sharp focus on what she wants to achieve from track and field.
Foster was Guyana’s only medallist at the just-concluded CARFITA Games in Bermuda and that bronze medal was not satisfying enough for the ambitious athlete, who told Kaieteur Sport in an exclusive interview that she will win a gold medal the next time around.
“For a year and a half competing, I think I did pretty well, but my goal is to get a gold medal at the next CARIFTA Games,” the 15-year-old Foster said; she believes that if she had been used to the cold and windy conditions in Bermuda, she would have won gold.
The Bladen Hall Multilateral High School student was genetically inclined to athletics given that her mother is none other than the effervescent Alisha Fortune, who has dominated sprinting since the dawn of the New Millennium until an injury ruled her out last year.
Coaches Sham Johnny and Leslie Black introduced Foster to athletics in 2010 after seeing her at an Inter-Zone competition on the East Coast of Demerara. Running Brave Athletics Club swiftly snapped up the talent and she has been in that fold since then.
“I didn’t really like running, but after they encouraged me to join a club, and I saw my standards improving, I fell in love with running,” Foster indicated. Maybe her sudden ascension depended on getting her mind in sync with an obvious physical ability.
It was indeed a process, but as destiny would have it, that process did not take forever. In 2010 at the National Schools’ Championships, Foster went back to her Beterverwagting home without an award; yes, she did not win a medal at the 2010 Schools’ Championships.
However, last year would prove to be a different year with different results; Foster got into stride and produced impressive performances that forced the Athletics Association of Guyana to select her for national debut at the Inter-Guiana Games in Suriname. Her silver and gold medals at those Games in the 800m and 1500m helped Guyana win the athletics title.
She returned to Guyana as one of the leading junior distance athletes, and proved that accurate at the 2011 Schools Championships where she won two silver medals in the 800m and 1500m. The only athlete standing in her way then was the endowed Melissa Byass.
But since then Foster has gone on to topple leading athletes like double CARIFTA gold medallist Jevina Straker in her ascendancy. She says that her philosophy is simple: she trains hard and gets easy results. Her coaches say that she even cries and get her work done.
“The hard training that my coaches put me through I didn’t like it, but then I put the effort in and saw that my achievements were increasing, so I stuck with it and here I am today. I will continue to work hard because I want to be the best I can,” Foster admitted.
She told this newspaper that she is into science and her grades are good in school. Foster believes that if she maintains good grades and continue performing well locally and internationally, then a scholarship may be on the horizon, which is her ultimate goal.
“I want an athletic scholarship because right now I am balancing athletics and academics and I’m a role model. I want all the things my mother did not get in her career, so I am very focused,” she noted, adding that she is very keen on fulfilling her athletic dreams.