Good sport proves to be devoted team player

Awarded the presidential scholarship, “Life Gets Better,” “Florida Bright Future” and a full athletic scholarship, swimmer Davida Martin is making waves academically and athletically.

Martin is a 22-year-old graduate business management student from Ft. Lauderdale. Athletically, she was awarded the MVP for the year 2000 swim season.

This past season, at the January 12, 2002, HBCU meet against North Carolina A&T and Howard, Martin won the sportsmanship award.

Martin makes impressive accomplishments outside of the pool, as well. She has a 3.2 GPA and is vice president of the student athletic advisory board.

“She is a sociable and caring person. She always strives for improvement and has improved every year she has been with the swimming team,” said swimming coach Jorge Olaves.

Martin attributes her accomplishments to the influence of her father.

“No matter how good I thought I was, he has always been the reality person in my life; to tell me that I am good enough, but I can still do better,” Martin said.

He has always been the one to keep a level head with me and keep it real with me.”

She continued, “Even though I am daddy’s little girl and he loves me, for him to be able to tell me that I am not perfect and I have a lot to improve upon, shows a lot from him because most parents would just be like ‘Oh my child is perfect.’ ” Martin said.

Martin has always desired the swimming team to be recognized on campus as much as other sports.

She has worked hard to help build the image of the swimming team.

“I had an important part in building up this team; just because when I started as a freshmen, we had maybe six girls and like three or four guys who competed. I had a part in recruiting when the coach was not able to do so,” Martin said. “I can remember driving from my house in Ft. Lauderdale all the way up to Georgia during Christmas to recruit Brandon Little.”

Martin assisted in recruiting Torrence Ford, Arie Muhummud, who made the all conference team, and freshman Little, who Martin expects to be a plus for the team in the years to come.

“I did not have to do that, but I am really concerned about trying to build the swimming program, so when I leave, it can keep going and growing. So I can come back and say when I was there, it wasn’t all that, it was growing and developing and I had a part to play in making it better. So that is like a legacy I can leave behind and say I had to build something.”

Martin has many fond memories of FAMU. She says her most memorable one athletically was the HBCU meet held at FAMU on January 12.

This is her most memorable event because of the support that the team received. After heavily publicizing the event and passing out flyers, Martin and the rest of her team appreciated the favorable turn out.

“It was wonderful for me because being that I started out with the team being so small there would be more athletes there, than people watching… There was like standing room only, people couldn’t even sit in the bleachers because there were so many people there,” Martin said.

“That was something really great to see because it shows that people are getting interesting in swimming.”

Martin hopes that once she graduates she can still contribute to the team in some way, either physically or financially.