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Dobson translates athletics into life

by Tina Bentkowski, staff writer


Sea Warrior defensive specialist and outside hitter Davina Dobson, 27, hopes to use her experience on the team to further her career. In her third year at HPU, she is a junior majoring in business and juggling school, athletics, and parenting.

Dobson grew up in Waianae and graduated from Moanalua High School in Salt Lake, and she is her 17-year-old niece Danielle’s legal guardian.

Dobson’s mother had adopted Danielle, and when her mother passed away last year, Danielle had to move out of her home, either with another family member or as a ward of the state until she was 18. Dobson decided to become Danielle’s guardian.

Dobson believes that her experience has taught them both that they can take on anything they put their mind to: “Danny sees that I make mistakes too, and I think that she learns that sometimes we just have to push through things,” said Dobson.

“I feel I have the experience to help other teenagers who may feel they have a hard time or just want to do better,” continued Dobson, who also volunteers for the O‘ahu Church of Christ’s teen ministry and works seasonally for the YWCA. “I want to give them the faith, courage, and desire to use their talents the best way that they possibly can.”

Dobson’s goal is distinctive: she hopes to start a program, called the Teen Athlete’s Organization, that would assist teens to obtain skills. “The program will reach teenagers who may feel they don’t have the skills they need to excel in the sports they want to play,” Dobson said. Aside from sports, the program would encourage teens to do well academically, “this program would also give them study hall programs, a better chance to go to college,” said Dobson. The program would include a clinic schedule, a camp, and a curriculum for the things teens will learn while in the program. Her plan is ready to go and lacks only a funding sponsor.

Dobson believes that the things we learn from sports can apply to every day life. Playing sports means self- denial: “On the court there are a lot of things that you may not want to do—pushing yourself when you don’t feel like it,” she said, adding that good athletes do what they have to do. The same is true of life: “When you are down in school, with family, relationships, [sports] teaches you to be strong … to have courage in life.”

Dobson believes sports teach discipline: mental, emotional, and physical. “I have also learned how important it is to have a schedule. Not that it should control your life, but having one helps you be disciplined,” she said. “Anything is possible. Whatever you put your mind to, you can do,” said Dobson.

Dobson hopes to bring her Teen Athlete’s Organization to students at five different local high schools, hopefully working with sports programs within schools. She is aware that it will take working and learning from other people to fulfill her dream. She also hopes to work for the teen ministry of her church and incorporate her organization into its program. In addition to these career goals, Dobson hopes to get married “and have at least one child before I’m 30,” she said, laughing.

Dobson would like to teach teens who are athletes that there is life outside of sports: “You need to make sure that your priorities are set and straight, “ she said. “Family is important.” The most important thing in life, she continued, is that “You have a teachable heart. Seek out a good purpose in life aside from sports,” said Dobson.

Dobson plans on graduating in December, 2003 and wants to play on the HPU volleyball team next year.


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