West Indies women’s wicketkeeper/batter Merrisa Aguilliera is calling on all young people to stay away from negativity, if they want to succeed.

The Marac Moruga resident made the comment to students of Montrose Government, while on the Champions tour organised by the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the SPORTT. Aguilliera was on the West Indies team that won the Women’s World T20 title in India in March. She was accompanied on the tour by Stacey King, Britney Cooper, Samuel Badree and Lendl Simmons who were on the West Indies men’s team that also won the World T20, as well as Kirstan Kallicharan who played for the West Indies Under-19 team that won the ICC U-19 World Cup crown in Bangladesh in February.

Recalling her days of struggles and having to travel all over the place to play cricket from remote Marac, the former West Indies captain said: “When you want to achieve your goals, you must firstly have faith in yourself and once we add hard work to this, you are on your way. While looking to reach your goals there will be obstacles along the way but you must overcome them. One thing you must never do is to listen to negative people. They will tell you that you cannot do things but instead what I want you to do is to believe in yourself.

“I remember the tremendous struggles I went through to make it in cricket. I would travel all around the country with a cricket bag because I just wanted to play cricket and was determined to succeed. Today, I can say that all the hard work and dedication has paid off for me.”

After their stint at Montrose Government, the Champion Tour moved on to Preysal Government and Preysal Secondary Schools where the cricketers were greeted by adoring fans. In the coming weeks the Champion Tour will reach many other schools in T&T.