`College is an eye opener for me’

–Heimraj Resaul balances tennis and academics in unfamiliar territory

By Royston Alkins

Nearly one year after he secured a scholarship at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, United States, junior lawn tennis champ Heimraj Resaul is enjoying his first full stint abroad although in unfamiliar territory.

The young man, who copped the scholarship for his excellence at sports and academics, says the experience has shifted his paradigm as most of what he’s encountering is vastly different from his familiar habitat.

“College has been an eye-opening experience for me both as a student and as a player. In reference to my studies, college has been a more demanding environment due to the load of my science-based courses.”

“In addition to this, I also have to balance  tennis which proved to be harder to do compared to when I was in Guyana. The higher level of competition I experience pushes me to better myself as a player both mentally and physically,” the 18-year-old told Stabroek Sports.

BOOKWORM! Heimarj Resaul is trying to juggle academics and tennis while at college in the US

Though he’s motivated by his dual role, his balancing act at the Science Institution has not given him much time for individual opportunities on the court due to the structure of collegiate competitions. Nevertheless, he did recall his most memorable win when asked to put his stint under the microscope.

“My most memorable moment would definitely be my first win. This was in November 2019 while I was playing 4th position singles. I was able to pick up the win (6-2, 6-0) and the team also won the entire match,” he recalled.

During his recollection, Resaul noted that competition on the collegiate circuit is quite intense. He harped on his new-found determination to register wins for his institution, which is often dragged out of him by matching the zest of his opposite number.

Meanwhile, he described the playing environment as being quite “rowdy.”

“The environment here is loud and rowdy as you have the energy of your teammates while you’re playing. I constantly find myself feeling more determined to get the win, and supporting my teammates (sometimes shouting at the top of my voice). Additionally, most players are dedicated off-court as we try to put in a gym session at least once every day.”

The collegiate circuit, like most, has been rocked by the spread of COVID – 19. The rest of the season has been cancelled, robbing him of his freshman year on the court. Nevertheless, the Guyanese noted that he is still putting in the hard yards to keep his body in top shape.

esaul departed Guyana in August 2019 to begin his stint in the USA. The then 17-year-old was recruited by the University’s head men’s Tennis Coach Nick Margiasso who announced the signing of the former Marian Academy student to make up his first recruiting class of 2019. The coach was drawn to Resaul’s natural qualities. (Stabroek Sports)