Destiny can lead you down several paths before you arrive at your desired destination. Such was the experience of Denielle Jack.
She passed on international scholarships, possibly extending her sporting career and switched her field of study to become a registered physiotherapist four years ago. Since then, she has been building her reputation by gathering experience working tirelessly and diligently to become one of the most sought-after physios in the country.
A scholarship recipient who completed her studies at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica, Jack explained how she finally decided that physiotherapy was the winning choice.
“Growing up, I played football and sustained a lot of injuries,” she said, “so, I spent quite some time at a physiotherapist and it was through her that I decided to do it. I was actually pursuing a degree in engineering then I realised that was not what I wanted. I always told myself, that if I wanted to pursue a career, it has to be something that I love more than football. It is on par so I don’t have any regrets.”
Her eagerness and willingness to assist others have been her driving forces to enjoying her profession.
She said, “I absolutely love my job, there aren’t many challenges despite working long hours every day and there are no complaints because I love what I do. I do plan to further my studies next year. There are different fields that I’m looking at and there are lots of branches in physiotherapy but the key is choosing something that can make a difference in TT.”
The 28-year-old who always greets her patients with a heart-warming smile described the difference in mindset working with athletes versus other patients.
“Working with people who are not involved in sport can be a little tougher than an athlete. With athletes, most times you are guaranteed that they are going to get better. However, dealing with a patient that has a neuro condition for example is a more long-term patient and the rehab process is longer.”
Khan, who is thankful to her employers at the Sport Medic TT, gave tips on how to keep active during the covid19 break.
“Any amount of movement during the day counts, from washing your car to gardening. In keeping with preserving your overall health, I`ll advise persons to avoid stress-eating and stock up on fruits and vegetables instead of snacks. Our sleeping patterns may be thrown off by being home but getting enough sleep is just as important as eating well and exercising.”
She also begged, “Try your best not to get any injuries at home!”
‘Miss World competition
boosted my self-confidence’
Apart from getting the confidence to drive she outlined another defining moment in her life.
“I started playing football at the age of six and then at 13, I was included in the national Under-15 football programme. It was a good experience; I became a lot more confident because I was shy and it got me interacting with people.”
She may still be shy and soft-spoken, until one of her patients is cheating on exercises or an irresistible sport argument comes up, especially regarding her favourite football team, FC Barcelona.
Persuaded by her supportive parents and older brother to play football, the Holy Faith Convent, Couva past student said, “Choosing sport growing up was a very good decision; I got the opportunity to travel to different countries and was even offered scholarships at various schools.”
Evidently, dominating on the football field and rehabilitating patients weren’t enough tests for Jack’s character. So, she ditched the boots and scrubs for evening dresses and heels, and was a finalist in the 2014 Miss World TT Pageant.
“I always love to challenge myself so it was a huge task that I was up for. Overall, the experience was empowering and enjoyable, I came out with a new found confidence and lifetime friendships.”
The eloquent Jack racked up yet another award to her name as she was adjudged Most Photogenic on that memorable evening.
She admitted that her dream job is to work with her FC Barcelona but contributing to her country is what keeps her motivated and contented. In true inspirational style, she advised, “In spite of your occupation, be the best you can be and always keep learning because it`s one way to earn respect in whatever field you’re involved in.”