The University of Kent’s American Football team, The Falcons, have seen an incredible triumph throughout this past season. Not only did they soar to Division one southeast champions being undefeated in their regular season, they also were recognised as the Club of the Year at Kent Union’s Team Kent Ball this past spring.
As a new member of their team and a Kent Sport scholar, Rakim Trapp-Jackson helped raise the profile of the team this season and has been an asset to the scholarship scheme we offer through Kent Sport.
Rakim has quite a story, so we caught up with him to learn more about how he came to playing for the Falcons at the University of Kent.
Originating from Jacksonville, Florida in the US, Rakim discovered his passion for football in high school. He went on to receive his undergraduate degree in America, but kept his sport high on priority. He joined the military, which meant a temporary end to his sporting career, but life would lead him back to it when he decided to go for his Masters in Computer Science at the University of Kent.
“I was interested in going to school in the UK due to the recent great achievements and developments in Artificial Intelligence – I badly wanted to be a part of that wave. I conducted a lot of research on universities here in the UK, looking for opportunities to study within the field of Computer Science. After much research, University of Kent conversion course was what I needed to allow me to chase my dreams.”
With his placement at the University of Kent, Rakim applied for a sports scholarship in American Football which has helped him gain financial support while not only studying, but getting to play a sport he thought he may never get to play again.
“My biggest achievement is after hanging up my cleats for what I thought would be my last time playing when I was conducting my undergraduate and five years later getting opportunity to play the sport I love again. It’s truly a blessing. I love my sport.”
The scholarship programme has been a great asset to Rakim, not only by strengthening his already strong physique, but opened doors to other like-minded athletes helping him make bonds with students throughout the campus.
The Falcons greatly benefited from having Rakim on their time and they hope it won’t be the last time that he graces their presence.
“Hopefully, I can get another chance of playing for Kent, for one last go round during my industrial placement.”
The University of Kent offers sports scholars to those who compete at county level or higher. Find out more about our scholarship scheme to see eligibility requirements and deadline dates. To stay up to date with Kent Sport news and events, Like UniKentSports on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter.