ATTACKING POVERTY WITH A STRAIGHT BAT ... Young Rovman Powell uses cricket as road out of poverty

July 15, 2016

Young Rovman Powell uses cricket as road out of poverty

For the average child, playing the popular sport of cricket is a hobby, but for a young Rovman Powell, he saw it as a way to escape the poverty that plagued his small family, which includes his single mother and younger sister.

Powell, 22, grew up in the Bannister district in Old Harbour.

His mother, Joan Plummer, owned a bar when they were young but had to shut it down about seven years ago. She now works in the cold room at Jamaica Broilers.

"Life for me growing was never easy because many a nights we would have to go to bed hungry because mommy never had a job all the time, so we wouldn't have food at times," Powell told THE WEEKEND STAR.

"I grew up in poverty, and I am determined not to die in poverty," said the first-time player for the Jamaica Tallawahs in the Caribbean Premier League T20 competition.

Citing his mother as his main motivation for his drive to success, Powell expressed happiness at his success so far as a regional cricketer.

"I work hard for everything because I want to see her tears and hard work come to fruition by doing well and being able to help her financially," said Powell.

According to the Old Harbour alumni, one of the proudest moments in his life was when he was able to start supporting his mother financially. At the time, the University of the West Indies (UWI) student was playing professionally for the Combined Campuses in the regional competition.

"When I told my mother that she can stop sending me money, and I sent her the first lump sum of cash, it made me the happiest man alive because a nuff hungry we face, and I was finally able to care for her," said Powell.

The UWI scholarship athlete said he had always seen himself as the "man of the house" and recalled incidents from his childhood when he played this role.

"Whenever we were younger, and there was a little bit of food, I would always make them eat before me because if anything, I would bear the hunger because me know she try her best," said Powell.

The education major, who specialises in geography and social studies, said his mother was very proud of his progress in cricket.

"The other day, she sent me a voice note telling me how proud she was of me and how happy she was to see all that I have done and continue to do that made me nearly tear up," said Powell.

The right-handed pace-bowling all-rounder, who has played for the Combined Campuses since 2014, told THE WEEKEND STAR that at age 15, coaches recognised his talent and started grooming him for the big leagues.

Powell, who has played in all five Tallawah games since the start of the tournament, expressed pride at playing alongside cricketing stars such as Chris Gayle, Kumar Sangakkarra, and AndrE Russell.

"Playing with persons I looked up to my entire career makes me feel good because I always had believed if I worked hard enough for what I want, I'd see that happen," he said.

But the cricketer is not satisfied with his progress as he has more goals to achieve in his career.

"My ultimate dream is to play for the West Indies in all formats and also to play for recognised clubs in leagues like the Big Bash and Indian Premier League," he added.

Other News Stories