KINGSTON, January 16 – Inter-Collegiate sport in Jamaica has never quite reflected the kind of development its peers in other regions across the rest of the world. Jamaica’s sport has largely been dominated by strong performances in the high school and the elite level, but the transition over the years has been made easier by the strengthening of work in the inter-collegiate system. This has been due largely to the work of University of Technology, GC Foster College, Mico University College and the University of the West Indies.
For the last six years, there has considerable effort by the Sport Team at the UWI led by Dalton Myers and his team. Myers took the reins from Olympian, Grace Jackson and since then has helped steered the collegiate sport system along a growth path. Myers, who is considered “young” has as his counterparts, Ventley Brown at the GC Foster College, Laurence Garriques at UTECH and a more experienced Raymond Graham at the Mico College University. Together they have raised the bar with regards to a focus on developing student-athletes who have not only won World University medals, but have also won Olympic and World Championship medals. The disciplines are also diverse and while track and field dominates, netball, basketball, football and cricket are some of the other sport inter-collegiate representation has increased.
The UWI though has made tremendous effort to build its reputation as a strong sporting institution. The combination of academic, social and performance related activities and programmes for sport has been evident and UWI continues to push to build this reputation in the national, regional and international marketplace.
In this article, I will outline just the student development area where a number of activities have been put in place.
- The sport psychologist programme for all the teams and scholarship holders has been re-developed – this is a one-of-a-kind for any tertiary institution
- The Sport scholarship programme has been improved with recruitment including students from the region
- The track and field programme has been strengthened
- A sport massage therapist has been added
- A student development programme has also been established with up-to-date sessions on public speaking, anti-doping, dress for success and study skills, to name a few
This with the fact that there are additional courses, e.g. Sports and Cultural Studies, Sports and Anti-Doping, Sports Medicine, Physiotherapy, Economics and Sports, Sports, Politics and Society, all part and parcel of a MSc – Sports Business Management; this serves as academic support for those students who would be interested in other management roles in the sporting industry. The UWI continues to lead the way for comprehensive approach towards sport development. In the next article we will look at marketing strategies and athlete achievement.
Myers and his team have partnered with other universities in the region and overseas and has presented on panels including the Business of Sport in Jamaica. His training is complemented by his studies in International Relation and Political Science; Cultural Studies; Sports Administration and Project Management.