In our society there is usually a decision to be made when it comes to participation in sports or academics with children often picking one or the other.
For young Qumar Torrington, however, the decision is about finding the balance to excel at both.
Torrington, who was born on September 16, 2000 began his educational journey at Stella Maris Primary where he achieved 465 marks and was awarded a place at Charlestown Secondary School in 2012.
It was there he wrote eight subjects, achieving one grade one, four grade twos and three grade threes predominantly in the area of Business.
Torrington, whose father teaches at the Chase Academic Foundation, found it necessary to attend Advanced Level classes at the institute where his father works and in his first sitting attained passes in three subjects.
While a lot of children would require a lot of attention to their books to achieve those grades, for Torrington, learning was made easy by playing cricket and keeping fit.
While attending Stella Maris Primary, the young fast bowler enrolled at the Demerara Cricket Club (DCC) in 2007, a club which has been churning out national and West Indies players for years.
It was at this club, where he is still a member that he first broke into the U-13 team before transitioning into the various divisions (U15, U17 and U19) with minimal effort.
At the U15 level, Torrington was selected to represent Demerara in the Guyana Cricket Board, Inter-County tournament.
He later went on to wear the national colours in the Cricket West Indies Regional U16 as well as the West Indies U15 tournaments where he finished as the second leading wicket taker for the Caribbean side.The right-arm fast bowler and handy lower order batsman has also transitioned effortlessly throughout the national youth levels taking seven wickets in a rain-hit U19 tournament this year.
When Stabroek Sport sat down with the soft-spoken young man, he recalled his best match for the West Indies U15s was taking 3-12. He also reminisced on his 3-20 against Windward Islands at the Regional U19 competition.
The aspiring businessman said his outing for the West Indies youth side was memorable since he was exposed to coaching and mentoring by the likes of West Indies greats, Courtney Walsh and Corey Collymore.
With the bat, he usually occupies the number seven or eight position for his club. Those who were at the club during the summer for the Georgetown Cricket Association/New York Tri-State 50-overs U19 tournament clash between DCC and Malteenoes Sports Club, would remember his shot-filled 93 from just 54 balls, including six fours and eight massive sixes some of which were out of the ground. He showed the ability to occupy the crease and understand the dynamics of match awareness as he shared a partnership of 157 for the eighth-wicket with Nkosi Beaton who blistered a century in the match.
The dedication by the young man was taken note of by some of the leading coaches in Guyana.
Garvin `Tibbsy’ Nedd, former U19 standout off spinner and national cricketer, who has been coaching the young fast bowler since he was seven years old, is adamant about Torrington’s determination to excel at both academics and cricket.
Nedd told this publication that it was sometimes difficult to get Torrington to come and train because of the times he was focused on his books but he never pressured him
The DCC coach explained that Torrington is a prime example of one who found the balance between the two and was proud of him.
Nedd added that with a bit of work and mastering his trade especially knowing the conditions he will be one for the future and one of Guyana’s leading fast bowlers, having been impressed by his performance in the Regional U19 tournament.
The longstanding coach recalled that after Torrington returned from England with the West Indies youth team, he showed tremendous grasp of the concepts and training from both Collymore and Walsh.
Similarly, another Coach Orin Bailey said… “right off the bat two things I can tell you about Torrington is he is determined and mannerly.”
Bailey explained that Torrington was once under his wing at the U17 level and for the short stint he realized the young man was one that had great things in store for him. He noted Torrington’s determination to get something to happen with every ball he bowled and his mannerism off the field as being very polite.
Bailey made the comparison of Torrington to having the same build as Michael Holding and Jermaine Lawson. He stated that with a bit more work in the athletic department coupled with the dynamics of bowling, Torrington could be right up there for West Indies.
It was because of his exemplary performance that he was selected by the GCB to be one of the U-19 players to be listed and shared amongst the various franchises in the Board’s 50-overs Franchise League.
Torrington was selected with the former champions and this year’s runners up Georgetown where he picked up four wickets in his first match for the Franchise this season.
Bridging the gap between books and sports, Torrington related that it was his intention to one day open a school or institution where he could facilitate children who want to do both, something that he said Guyana is lacking.
He dreams of this vision after experiencing a difficult time managing both since he noted that it was hard to be away from school for two to three weeks and then return to catch up.
The young seamer added that cricket was a particularly expensive sport with proper footwear costing upwards of $40,000.
Thus he also wishes that corporate Guyana would get behind those with aspirations to do well both academically and in sports stating that other than sponsoring athletes, they can provide some form of employment for some.