Did You Know?!: Sports at the UCWI

Sports have always been an integral part of The UWI experience.  Students and staff were encouraged to participate in sporting activities as part of university life.

In October 1949, a Games Committee was constituted by a decision of the College Senate (the university body responsible for the academic and student life of the College) to “be responsible for the co-ordination, encouragement and development of undergraduate games activities”. The Committee was also responsible for “the expenditure of funds allocated for this purpose”.  The membership of the Games Committee was directed to include two representatives of Senate, two representatives of the Junior Common Room (Administrative and Support staff) and the captains of the football, tennis and cricket clubs.  Headed by a Professor, this committee reported regularly to the College Senate.

Handwritten reports from the clubs to the Chair of the Games Committee, Professor  Hassall.

Handwritten reports from the clubs to the Chair of the Games Committee, Professor Hassall. UC-GA-335

The first report to Senate (1949-1950) noted that the following sporting clubs were established: football, cricket, tennis, badmington, table tennis, hockey, athletics, physical culture (body building), and rifle with activities taking being held for netball.

The Games Committee, however, played a very important role in the early life of the Mona Campus. This body of sport enthusiasts was instrumental in designing the layout of “The Games Field”, the area now known as the Mona Bowl. The first facilities were built using a Miller benefaction, funds  that were donated to the University College to be used “explicitly for undergraduates”.  There is no doubt that the vision of the Games Committee is enjoyed by the entire university and Jamaican community to this day.

Proposed Revised Layout for Sports/Games Field (the Mona Bowl), August 1959.

Proposed Layout for Games Field (the Mona Bowl), August 1959. UC-GA-335

In addition to the activities of the various clubs, sports were also a feature of life on the various halls of residence. We feature photographs and captions of students participating in the various sport activities during the years 1959-1961

. These images were published in “The Pelican”, then a student magazine of the UCWI.



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