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N Touch
Monday 23 April 2018
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Homeless bodybuilder in plea for help

Body-builder Evan Jackson poses with trophies he has won over the years competing in the TT body-building circuit. PHOTO BY SUREASH CHOLAI

BODYBUILDER and avid fitness enthusiast Evan Jackson, is hoping the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs or a Good Samaritan, could come to his assistance as he is now homeless after struggling to find full-time employment over the past three years.

Jackson, now 30 years old, started bodybuilding in 2014 after trying his hand at boxing. In the last four years, he has won 20 trophies in the light heavyweight and heavyweight categories. Two of the tournaments Jackson has excelled in are at the Clinton Sammy Classic and at the TT Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation National Senior Championships.

Lately, life has became more challenging for the bodybuilder. Jackson’s wife, Jeannine Clarke-Jackson, has sickle cell and is pre-diagnosed with lupus and has to pay thousands of dollars in medical bills. As a result, they could not afford to pay rent for three months after Clarke-Jackson fell ill. Jackson has been living on the streets for the past few weeks while Clarke-Jackson is staying with members of her family.

Jackson has struggled to keep a steady job over the past three years and is hoping Minister of Sport Darryl Smith could come to his assistance and help improve his bodybuilding career. He said he is willing to work hard and with the help of the Minister he could reach far. “I am trying to get myself across to Mr Darryl Smith. What I am here for is that instead of using somebody that is already popular (use me). This is me, make me the person that you want (Minister Smith),” Jackson said.

Jackson, who also has aspirations of becoming a fitness trainer, said well-known TT bodybuilder Darrem Charles once offered him advice that he has never forgotten. “Darrem Charles gave me two words — stay focused. What I like about it (bodybuilding) is that it encourages me to live a better life.”

Jackson said he tried to gain employment at the Port of Spain Corporation, North West Regional Health Authority and at several gyms as a fitness instructor. However, he is not certified as a fitness instructor and is asking that someone sponsor him so he can pursue a fitness course and fulfil one of his goals of becoming an instructor.

Clarke-Jackson, who is self-employed as a make up artist, said her husband decided to channel negativity into something positive. “One of the reasons why he entered bodybuilding is because he used to be teased in school.

Even as he got into adulthood, people on the road that knew him use to tease him. He has a speech issue and he stammers a lot and people use to tease him because of that and he decided to go to the gym.”

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