UWI Regional Headquarters, Jamaica W.I. 28 April, 2016 – Trinidad and Tobago Minister of Sport Darryl Smith presented cricketer Chadwick Walton of the Cave Hill Campus with the inaugural UWI Sportsman of the Year award on 27 April at the Vice-Chancellor’s Sports Awards ceremony. Mona Campus student Katherine Wynter, who is currently competing in Brazil, was the Sportswoman of the Year. The history-making event took place at the Daaga Auditorium on the St. Augustine Campus.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles pointed out that all four campuses offer training from certificate to masters’ programmes in the pedagogy of sport. He noted that no other civilization has produced as many sportsmen and sportswomen per capita as has the Caribbean. The University, he said, has therefore taken on the responsibility to ensure the retention of excellence and will establish a Faculty of Sport at The UWI. The Faculty of Law is the last faculty established, almost 40 years ago.
These inaugural awards were devised by Vice-Chancellor Beckles to honour top student-athletes for their outstanding performance in academics, athletics, service and leadership. Nominees are registered UWI students from each of The UWI campuses, who were recommended by their coaches and organisations as having excelled at the local and international level. Nominees also had to have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0. After a screening by campus selection committees, two from each campus went forward for further evaluation at the university level.
The event, which was underwritten by RBC Royal Bank (Trinidad and Tobago) Limited, is an expression of the bank’s commitment to youth development in the region and is in line with its own Olympian Programme. According to RBC Managing Director and UWI Alumnus, Darryl White, sport “teaches the individual about winning and about losing graciously. It teaches about character” and is also a “mega income earner.” He said he looks forward to the day when “the sons and daughters of the Caribbean diaspora return to the Caribbean to study at The UWI; when we import rather than export our athletes.”
Trinidad and Tobago Ambassador for Sport, Daren Ganga, had a few words of advice for student athletes. He drew reference to his own life growing up in the village of Barrackpore with parents who encouraged academics as much as sport. He urged them to learn time management and to remember that the way they present themselves is important, especially at the elite level, while there is still currency in their personal brand. Prepare for life after sport, he said.
Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal of UWI St. Augustine, Professor Clement Sankat was pleased that the inaugural event was held at the St Augustine Campus. Speaking on the student athletes he said, “It takes a special individual to be able to spend a great amount of time in the classroom, and then have to spend as much time on the field of play, while pushing themselves to the limits of their physical attributes. It is certainly an incredible gift that requires unparalleled discipline and commitment.”
The Vice-Chancellor also presented special awards to UWI Alumni Jason Holder, current Captain of the West Indies Test and One-Day International (cricket) team, and Jehue Gordon, track and field athlete and Rio 2016 Olympic hopeful. Cricketers Deandra Dottin and Carlos Brathwaite who represented the West Indies during the recent Women’s and Men’s World Cup T20 matches also received awards on behalf of their teams.
UWI Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year Nominees:
Cave Hill Campus
Mr. Fallon Forde, Athletics
Mr. Chadwick Walton, Cricket
Ms. Katherine Wynter, Badminton
Mr. Roman Powell, Cricket
Ms. Abigail Fedee, Netball
Ms. Nerissa Augustin, Netball
St. Augustine Campus
Mr. Edson Breedy, Taekwondo
Ms. Avoni Seymour, Volleyball
About UWI Sportswoman of the Year 2016: Katherine Wynter from the Mona Campus
Ms Katherine Wynter is at the Faculty of Social Sciences pursuing a degree in International Relations. She represented Jamaica in her first international tournament at the age of 13. She continued to participate in international matches during her time at secondary school and at The UWI. Most recently she competed in the Jamaica International Badminton Tournament where she took home both bronze and gold medals.
About UWI Sportsman of the Year 2016: Chadwick Walton from the Cave Hill Campus
Mr. Chadwick Walton is pursuing an MSc in Sports Sciences at the Faculty of Social Sciences. He is Captain of The UWI Blackbirds cricket team which, in 2015, captured all three titles in the Barbados Cricket Association’s elite division. He has also played on the West Indies A team, the West Indies Senior team and the Jamaica Tallawahs.