“I just be myself, nobody is going to stop my shine.”
- Olivia Brown
RDP Sports was honored to sit down and speak with former Effingham County High School Track and Field Star, Olivia Brown. This young lady’s personality is one-of-a-kind, and the respect level that she shows is remarkable.
Oliva Brown is focused and is on the path to success. No matter what adversity she faced in life, she managed to cross every hurdle that was in front of her. She started running track when she was in sixth grade and her brother was excelling in basketball: “My brother was playing basketball, and he was getting all the attention so I said I’m going to do track it can’t be that hard to run.” said Olivia.
Little did she know that track would lead her down a different path. She began competing in AAU track and that is when she started to notice that she could be good at track and field if she was willing to work extra hard. AAU allowed her to compete against girls from different parts of the region.
She competed in the 100-meter dash and the high jump until high school. However, during her ninth grade year her coach, Michael Ward, recognized her talent in the hurdles: “I was outside one day playing around with some guys jumping hurdles after practice and Coach Ward said that’s your next event. After that day, he began to train me on the hurdles.” The following year Olivia was looking to take her talent to the next level. So, she and her parents reached out to Coach Guater of USCB track and field. He was a great influence in Olivia’s track career: “He taught me the ends and out of the hurdle game,” explained Olivia.
Even with all the success, Olivia is very humble and quick to point out the she did not get here by herself: “It was a village that included my mom, brother, sister, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and all her track coaches. My village has always pushed me to be better. My dad was backbone of my village; however, he died when I was in eighth grade so that’s a reason why I still run track. I know that my dad would be proud of me. So from that point, my motivation was trying to get a scholarship so that my mom would not have to worry about trying to pay for college.”
Olivia’s quest to be the best at her high school came true as she ended her high school career as a champion. She won 1st place in the 100 hurdles in the state of Georgia. Even as a champion, the recruitment process was still stressful for her and her family. However, she managed to stay focused and kept her eyes on the bigger picture. Eventually, her patience paid off. She was awarded a full track scholarship to Kennesaw State University. Her hard work paid off and she was able to fulfill her dream by receiving a scholarship so that her mom would not have to worry about paying for college.
Olivia is grateful for her opportunity for compete on the next level and she likes to share her testimony with the next generation: “I would tell young athletes to put in some work even on your off days. Even if your workouts are good just tell yourself that you can do better. You may not see your improvement while you push yourself for days or even weeks, but it will show in the long haul. So just practice nonstop.”
When Olivia is not practice or running track, you may find her at her church St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church in Savannah. She is part of the youth ministry and a group called AGES which means Academic Girls Empowerment for Success. This group allows for her and her peers to go in the community and make difference. “We go out and feed the homeless, we go into nursing homes, we do Christmas cards and pass them out in malls during Christmas,” said Olivia.
How do you want your peers to view you?
I’m very outgoing. I’m also that type of person who asked myself will this affect me in five years. So, I like to think ahead. “I just be myself; nobody is going to stop my shine.”