STRIKING THE right balance between academics and sport has become the norm for the talented sibling-combination of Chad and Azara Hosein.
Eighteen-year old Chad attends Presentation College, Chaguanas and is one of TT’s rising triathletes. Similarly, his 15-year old sister attends St Augustine Girls High School (SAGHS) and is on course to becoming a professional dancer.
Ably-supported by parents Colin and Anisa Allaham-Hosein, the talented pair continues to show impeccable form in their respective sporting disciplines while maintaining an impressive academic record.
With their hectic, weekly training schedule and personal drive to attain educational excellence, the sibling duo is intent on becoming the best of both worlds.
CHAD ADAM HOSEIN
Chad is currently in lower six and preparing for his first level of Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) next month. In 2019, he earned nine distinctions at CSEC (Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate) while staying ahead of his triathlete game.
He has dreams of one day completing the Olympic distance on the world’s biggest sporting stage and also participating in the Iron Man series. Having started out as a junior triathlete at Rainbow Warriors, under the tutelage of Maria Gooding, Chad has swam, ran and cycled his way through the ranks.
Since his entry into triathlon in 2014, he has been heavily involved in local races and has gradually advanced to regional and international competitions. Chad represented ‘Pres’ and TT at the Carifta Games for the past three years; latest being in Jamaica in August 2019.
He also flew the 'red, white and black' in Miami, United States (May 2018), Costa Rica (March 2019) and Barbados (October 2018 and 2019). Chad is a member of The Braves Multisport Club, with the legendary Gene "Geronimo" Samuel as his cycling coach and Jonah Camps as his triathlon coach.
Seasoned distance runner Richard Jones serves as his running coach, Edward Tuberoso tutors him in the pool and Tonya Sun Kow is his strength and conditioning coach.
“Based on what educational opportunities present themselves I’d like to go abroad to study engineering with hope that the university has a good track team to do both. If I really focus on running now I can probably get a track scholarship. Education is priority but it’s a trade-off. Training and exercising has improved my discipline so when I study I can focus easier and manage my time better by having a schedule for both sport and academics,” said Chad.
He has chosen to sacrifice his recreation time with friends to train. According to him, this is the only way to keep his training and strength and conditioning levels up to speed.
During the down time due to covid19, he has been keeping abreast with schooling via online platforms and has capitalised on his time at home to train indoors. After the lengthy lag away from competition, he is raring to return to the competitive circuit.
“I’ve been using resistance bands to do swim movements to strengthen muscles. Running, doing shuttles, drills in yard, just to maintain the level of fitness. Zwift helps me ride a lot indoors and I’m in constant communication with my coaches. By doing those exercises during the quarantine period, I’m now better off and ready to go once more,” he added.
Chad has also amplified his studies by attempting questions set by Cambridge to better prepare for the July CAPE. His main goal is to attain a perfect score, an achievement he believes would create an avenue to help propel his sporting career.
He draws inspiration from world 100-metre record-holder Usain Bolt and Kenya long-distance runner Eliud Kipchoge, both of whom have conquered the globe through sport.
Chad recently won the 60th Anniversary 6-kilometre race, and has participated in the TT International Relay Marathon and 5k races. He has also captained the Chaconia House cricket team at ‘Pres’ and represented his school in chess, badminton, cricket, mountain bike and the TT Triathlon Federation’s School Series (triathlon; aquathlon and duathlon).
The talented young man is also a member of his school’s Music Makers and plays steelpan. He also joined his secondary school’s Language Club in first form and has been an active contributor to the club. He was the treasurer before taking over as president of the club.
Chad’s career ambition is to become an engineer, be an active member of Presentation College Chaguanas’ alumni as well as contribute to the development of triathlon in TT.
AZARA CALISE HOSEIN
Meanwhile, Azara has been twirling her way to the title of professional dancer and is just two years away from achieving such a feat.
She was introduced to floor gymnastics in 2009 and aerial movement in 2016, which spurred her love for cheerleading and dance. Azara joined Eugene Joseph Dance School in 2009 then transferred to Caribbean School of Dancing (CSD) three years later. She is currently in grade seven of the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) School and Advanced Foundation of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) – both UK-based.
In 2018, Azara was invited to join the Metamorphosis Dance Company. This propelled her into several performances at national events (including Dimanche Gras and the Caribbean Premier League). During her earlier years, she was also exposed to swimming which was a catalyst for her stint in triathlon from 2014 to 2017, representing both her primary and secondary schools.
Having entered SAGHS in 2016, Azara joined the school’s choir as well as the cheerleading team as a flyer (one who is thrown into the air during routines). Last year, the active youngster was part of the SAGHS team which entered the National High School Cheerleading Championship in the US.
In 2018 and 2019, Azara was part of the CSD team representing TT at the All Dance World International Competition, where they placed first in several categories. While pursuing her dancing career, she maintains an overall ‘A’ average in all her secondary subjects.
She intends on furthering her studies in languages (French and Spanish) as well as developing her dance portfolio.
“I left cheerleading to focus more on completing my dancing qualifications. I want to finish all my dance grades. I’m in grade seven and there’s eight in total. I’m also in advanced foundation which is the vocational aspect with the ISTD. After completing these elements, I’m aiming at becoming a professional,” she said.
With a strong foundation in ballet, Azara has now built experience in modern, lyrical, contemporary and hip hop dance. However, she has still been consistent in her studies and striking the right balance between academics and dance.
Now an avid pursuant of languages in school, the young dancer is determined to win an open scholarship and has set her sights on Europe as a potential destination to further her dance career and elevate her language studies.
“Most of my dance classes are in the afternoon for a couple hours for the majority of week. Classes go late into the night. After that, I head home and balance work and studying. I must have a level of discipline. Sometimes I have to wake up early in the morning to study and complete homework. I also have to pay extra attention in class to balance each element. I’ve even carried my books to dance class,” she added.
She credits her success to principal of CSD Bridgette Wilson, SAGHS principal Linda Dharrie, her grandmother, parents and brother Chad. Over the years, this tightly-knit contingent has has supported her growth in every aspect of her journey.
“I look up to Chad the way he manages his studies and training. Chad motivates me to train at home and keep focused in all I undertake. Dance is a great way to express yourself and I was proud to represent my country internationally. You can never stop learning in life,” she concluded.