By Samone Davis
Freshman Rashida Robinson of the Palm Beach Atlantic University women’s tennis team is hoping to make her impact this year.
Robinson, from the Bahamas, was recruited and offered an athletic scholarship to be a part of the team. Robinson is a broadcast journalism major with a minor in communications.
Robinson was recruited for tennis after the team’s head coach, Chi Ly, received data of her records as a tennis player in the Bahamas. She was ranked as the number two player in the country at only 18.
“The journey to come to PBA wasn’t easy at all,” Robinson said. “There were times I thought I wasn’t even going to make it here. It’s all because I still had hope deep down. God saw how much I wanted to come here and how hard I worked for it.”
When Robinson realized that she would be able to attend PBA, she knew her prayers had been answered.
“I think God tested my faith, because every time I thought I was close enough, obstacles came that made me feel like I just couldn’t do it, but somehow I kept faith and just kept going because I was so determined to one day be here,” Robinson said.
Robinson stated that she chose PBA over other universities because it was the perfect environment: not too far from home, and possessing a Christian community. She also felt that PBA had a great journalism program.
“I agree that the sport that I am so passionate about and have been playing since I was 3 years old should gain more recognition,” Robinson said of tennis’s low profile on campus. “But nevertheless, I am a proud member of the women’s tennis team and excited to be working with such talented team members.”
As an international student, Robinson faced a unique set of challenges in addition to the team’s rigorous training. One adjustment was the differences in food between the Bahamas and the U.S.
“I had to change my eating habits just so that I can stay in shape and be able to perform at my best on the tennis court,” Robinson said. “I admit my start was hard and I’m still adjusting, but it’s getting better.”
The women’s tennis team finished the season as runner’s up in the NCCAA. Robinson looks forward to playing with this gifted team to help further the program’s success.
“I’m looking forward to a great first semester here at PBA and I’m excited to represent this school,” Robinson said. “My aim is to go hard at every tennis match I play, give it my all, gain success in making my coach, teammates and myself very proud. I also want to be able to balance my grades in school and skill on the court.”