With the West Indies cricket team’s stunning victory over England in the 2016 World T20 tournament in India, supporters can now celebrate three winning teams in the same year, with its Men’s, Women’s and Under-19 teams all earning victories in their respective tournaments. As scholar C.L.R. James made clear in “Beyond a Boundary”, cricket has long been about more than just the game—becoming, over time, a touchstone for key aspects of the history and future of the West Indies.
Caribbean people can also boast top athletes in several disciplines, far beyond the region’s small size. In light of this, The UWI has renewed its focus on sport as a driver of development in the region. The University has upgraded its sport infrastructure, most recently completing the Usain Bolt Sports Complex at the Cave Hill Campus, named after the world-renowned record-breaker, who also received the Vice-Chancellor’s inaugural Alumni Exemplar Sports Award. The state- of-the-art facility features stands named after athletes Obadele Thompson, Kirani James, and Ryan Brathwaite, and includes a FIFA certified artificial field, IAAF certified track, biomechanic labs, classrooms, and a high performance centre.
The UWI is proud to count some of its students and alumni among the leading athletes in the world. At the same time, the University also enables students to excel in aspects of sport that take place off the field, by currently offering or developing programmes in sports science, medicine, psychology, performance, tourism, and management.
In 2016, The UWI St. Augustine Campus will host its 2nd Biennial Interdisciplinary Conference on Sport Studies and Higher Education, ahead of the Summer Olympics in Brazil - https://sta.uwi.edu/conferences/16/sportstudies/. According to Vice-Chancellor Beckles, the next phase of growth involves developing high performance centres on each campus, within a joint Faculty of Sport, shining a spotlight on West Indian sport as a unifying and creative force.