We recently caught up with FirstPoint USA client, Keanan Ainge. Hailing from Raunds, Nothamptonshire, Keanan is one of the most recent soccer players to join our ranks. Here, the Raunds Manor Sports College, Prince William School and King John School alum shares with us, some more about his sporting background, his reasons for wishing to pursue a scholarship in the States, and his plans for the future.
From a young age, Keanan has had an interest in soccer, and has played with a number of teams throughout his career so far; playing with both Rushden and Diamonds Academy and Wellingborough Old Grammarians from 2006-2008. From 2008-2014, Keanan was a goalkeeper for West Bromwich Albion Academy, Football Development School (FDS), receiving his UEFA B level coaching. Throughout his time at Raunds Manor Sports College, Keanan was the goalkeeper for Peterborough Football Academy; and is currently, the goalkeeper for Woodford Men’s Football team.
With an extensive sporting career behind him so far, we asked Keanan to tell us about his favourite sporting memory to date. He stated, “My favourite sporting memory was being a part of the West Bromwich Albion Academy; playing in the Netherlands on an invitational tournament. The challenge of playing in a different country at a young age showed me how to adapt to situations outside of my comfort zone. Playing in a different country was so exciting; being able to play against a wide variety of teams with an array of talent. The competition was the highest I have ever played in, and so demanding; making it the most enjoyable and rewarding.”
Keanan tells us that studying in the US is something that he wished to pursue as, it is the biggest and best opportunity for himself. Adding, “I aim to support and gain success within the team I will be a part of, and to reach the highest level of sport possible.” Keanan also states that he hopes the move to the US will allow him to grow as an athlete, a student, and as a person; broadening his horizons both mentally and physically, allowing him to contribute towards both his school and team.
Upon moving out to the States and beginning his life as a student-athlete, we asked Keanan what he was most looking forward to. He told us, “I am most looking forward to developing my current skills and learning new skills. I am excited to compete at a high level in the sport I am a passionate about, and to achieve a high level of education. The intensity of the weekly regime of the sport and education system excites me. The facilities and the opportunities are second to none.”
Often, we ask our newest clients to tell us about their top three sportspeople of all time and why, Keanan told us...
“Magic Johnson; point guard for the LA Lakers and one of the best in his position. He didn’t let his diagnosis of HIV stop him from returning to the sport he loved five years later. How, he is a strong advocate for the awareness of AIDS, and an inspiration to the world.
Michail Antonio; winger for West Ham United. He’s an all-round athlete who has worked tirelessly from a young age to achieve greatness in the highest tier of football in England. He started as a lifeguard, working his shifts around football training and games, and shows that, with determination, dedication and commitment, anything is possible.
Mia Hamm; American soccer player. She was named Player of the Year in 2001 and 2002. At the age of 19, she became the youngest American woman to win a World Cup Championship; she won two Olympic gold medals for soccer in 1996 and 2004; and she retired in 2004 to start a family. She will remain an inspiration to young soccer players, both male and female, showing that talent has no gender.”
Finally, we asked Keanan to tell us where he sees himself being in 10 years time. He tells us, he hopes to be making a positive contribution to society. Adding, “I aim to be an athlete, competing regularly at the highest level that I possibly can. I will use all of the skills that I attain during college productively, so that I can be the best version of myself.”
We’d like to thank Keanan for catching up with us. We’ll keep you updated on Keanan’s progress throughout the scholarship process across our various social media platforms; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.