Tuesday, October 15, 2013

UWI Sports Department honours top student athletes

Dalton Myers Director of Sports UWI, Mona, Dr. Warren Blake President of the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association, Nicholas Maitland  UWI Sportsman of the Year, Thristina Harwood  UWI Sports Woman of the year and Ajani Williams President of the Jamaica Basketball Association are captured at the Annual University of the West Indies Sports Department Awards Ceremony held at the Rex Nettleford Hall. The ceremony held on Friday October 4 saw several individuals and groups receiving awards for their outstanding performance during the academic year 2012.

Top student athletes of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona were honoured by the University through the 11th staging the annual Sports Award Ceremony on Thursday, October 3 at Rex Nettleford Hall Multi-Purpose Centre. The awards formed part of the University’s mandate of ensuring that its programmes are not aimed solely around academics.

The glitzy red carpet event celebrated the successes of the UWI’s sports men and women, who during the past academic year displayed their talents successfully both locally and internationally. Among the students honoured were Olympian Hansle Parchment, IAAF Diamond League competitor Jason Young and National Netballer Malysha Kelly, in addition to other athletes who have represented the country and contributed to the rich and historical sporting tradition of the University.

Dalton Myers, Director of Sports, UWI Mona said “For years the University of the West Indies has been producing athletes of the highest standard, who not only perform exceptionally on the field of play but also maintain excellent academic records.” By this motivation the University conceptualized its sports awards to highlight and commemorate the hard work done by student-athletes who, while maintaining their academic standing as dictated by the University, produce sterling performances on the field, court, track, and in the pool. 

With several team awards for outstanding performances in Intercol on offer, the female Badminton, table tennis, basketball and volleyball teams were awarded for their championship seasons while the male hockey team was awarded for their outstanding year which saw multiple members of the team being called up for national representation. The male sprint medley team was also awarded for their Penn Relays victory, earning them the history making accolade of being the first UWI team to win a Championship of America event.

The eagerly awaited individual awards were taken by relatively new faces in the UWI sports fraternity. The Sportswoman of the year saw Thristina Harwood beating out multi-sport woman, Sherona Forrester and Netball stalwart Malysha Kelly. Harwood rose to prominence since her enrolment at UWI and she was immediately given the Goal Attack duties for the UWI Pelicans Senior Netball Team. She has steadily made progression from the National Netball Under-13 to U-16, U-21 to now National Senior team. Harwood’s most recent display saw her piloting Jamaica to a bronze medal finish at the World Youth Championships with especially impressive shooting performances in the semi-finals against New Zealand and the Bronze-medal match versus England. Harwood has been named in the top 10 new talents in the world by Scoop Magazine.

The Sportsman of the year saw Nicholas Maitland beating out Jason Young and heavy favourite Hansle 
Parchment. Maitland gained the honours due to his impressive season which included a 400m victory over the Usain Bolt which he followed with an impressive bronze medal finish at the World University Games in Russia. Maitland was also a key member of the Sprint Medley team which won at the Penn Relays, making history. 

The University of the West Indies Sports Department also made a special award to Ms. Angella Freeman, 
mother of deceased Andre Mitchell. Mitchell perished last year in a motor accident and was a long standing UWI sports contributor to the discipline of Basketball, which he helped advance at the institution. This acknowledgement truly shows the respect and gratitude which UWI Sports holds for each and every contributing athlete and administrator which makes UWI Sports a success.

Dalton Myers expressed his satisfaction with the programme and stated, “The students come from various socio-economic backgrounds but are linked by their love of sports and their desire to shine in their chosen disciplines as they make not only themselves and their families, but the University and the country proud. They truly exemplify the notion that the University of the West Indies is a place to shine.”

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