A for Athlete


Sachelle Taylor ’12 sets her sights on 2016 Olympics[]

By Paul Kovach, December 21, 2010

From Jamaica (also known as JAM) Flag of Jamaica to Rio de Janeiro in 2016 via Chatham University, one student-athlete has her heart set on Olympic gold.

While growing up in Jamaica, Chatham sophomore Sachelle Taylor enrolled in Holy Child High School, an all-girls school that her mother and sister also attended. While at Holy Child she discovered her talent and love for almost every water sport. She joined the swim team in seventh grade, and though she says they were self-proclaimed underdogs, her teammates quickly became like family to Sachelle.

By ninth grade the school added water polo, and Sachelle dove in. “The school trained us, but we really didn’t know the sport at all. We were just a crazy bunch of little girls in the water, but we were having a great time,” Sachelle says. Though it was a new team, she says her coach was devoted to helping her team maintain a positive attitude and work together despite their record.

Sachelle excelled at water polo and was the only student from her school selected for the Jamaican national 18-and-under team which competed throughout the Caribbean. She participated in the Junior Pan-American Games and continued to play for Holy Child where she was named a team captain and earned most-goals=scored and league MVP.

When she completed high school, Sachelle followed her adventurous spirit and decided to apply to schools in America. She attended St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y. and joined their water polo team, but despite it being an NCAA Division 1 school Sachelle knew after one semester that it wasn’t the place for her. “I wanted to major in criminal justice or forensics, but they didn’t offer it there, and the school was one big building in the city. I missed having trees and grass around.”

So Sachelle took the next semester off and spent time with her brother in Illinois to search for a new school. She knew she wanted to play water polo and major in forensics, so she searched her key points online and found Chatham. “Chatham was all-women, which I was happy about since I had such a great experience in high school. And they had a new water polo team, which I liked because I remembered how great it was to grow our high school program together and work to make the team better. I knew that Chatham was the place for me, especially once I saw the campus, it was just what I was looking for.”

Sachelle transferred to Chatham and is already making her mark in her second semester. The Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches recognized Sachelle Taylor as an All-American Honorable Mention in NCAA Division III, the first Chatham water polo student-athlete to receive that distinction. This comes on the heels of the Chatham water polo team ranking first in academic achievement in the overall cumulative GPA for all of the Women’s Water Polo teams in the ACWPA.

As for her future, Sachelle has one main goal—to be an Olympian. She would like to earn her degree from Chatham and return to Jamaica to train for the 2016 Olympics in water polo. If her past accomplishments are any indication, it would not be a surprise to see her competing in Rio de Janeiro.