This 2017 IAAF World Championship, a spectacle of sporting glory, hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for many Caribbean fan favourites. This championship marks a significant transition in athletics with Usain Bolt’s departure from the competitive world stage. We congratulate our regional athletes as they gave their very best and celebrate our medallists.
It’s finally over and many are still dumbfounded at their unrealized predictions. Many pundits, sports analysts and commentators such as Hubert Lawrence and Patrick Anderson from Jamaica have noted that this year represents a ‘changing of the guard’. It has come with new athletes across the world staking their claim in a number of events that Caribbean athletes have dominated in more recent times.
How does the region ensure a seamless transition between the various outgoing and upcoming athletes? How do we also unearth new talent in our region to continue to view athletics with pride atop the medal podiums?
Earlier this year, 2017 the UWI embarked on adding to the research and development (R&D) in Sports in the Caribbean with the launch of its first new faculty in 40 years.
“The launch of this new faculty will not only aid in formally legitimizing sports education, training and research in the higher learning industry for the Caribbean, but it will also aid in driving development and economic growth prospects for our region.” Professor Archibald McDonald
At championships and other sporting events, athletes battle and push themselves to win against odds. It is these competitive activities, the space and other elements; all that shape sports and the arena that will fill the academic pursuit.
“The launch of this faculty facilitates The UWI’s goal of laying the necessary foundations in moving the sport initiative in the Caribbean in a right and positive direction.” Principal Archibald McDonald
As feared by many, we have lost a bit of our air of dominance in the sprint events during this recent IAAF World Championship. The results this year, below what is normally expected of this our small island states, has played this out.
“Sport is at the heart of our regional identity. We must begin to formally invest in this industry if we expect to see greater returns for the future.” Principal Archibald McDonald.
With the launch of the Faculty of Sport we begin in earnest to research and learn from our strengths and weaknesses. We will also develop the science gleaned through the excellent work of our regional coaches in athletics and other sporting disciplines achieving amazing results over the years.
…we must invest in a centre of excellence here that explores the research behind sport, which will engage in state-of-the-art teaching and learning about the complexities of sport, whilst providing the facilities and tools that will facilitate training excellence in all fields of sport. Here we are bringing the teaching, learning and research experience in a unique field to the doorsteps of our Caribbean people, opening an immense pathway for sport higher education and regional development.” Professor Archibald McDonald
Sports is entwined with the development of our region, the Caribbean has bonded and grown through our common pursuits and exploits but there is also an economic benefit that hasn’t been fully realized.
The UWI is celebrating 70 years as a regional institution and has launched a campaign focused on funding the infrastructural development of it newest faculty, the Faculty of Sport. It is “70 in 70” with the goal of 70 million in the 70th year.
“If there’s one industry that we can develop right now to diversify our economies and make our economies competitive, it is to build a sporting industry in our region” UWI Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles.
The faculty of Sport is regional in outlook and practice as it aims to establish footholds across the Caribbean engaging regional institutions. There are also a number of programmes already in train that will be delivered jointly with institutions with established Sport programmes based outside the region.
Contributors: Sean MockYen, Adrian Green, Kwasi Tinglin