With the Intercollegiate Track & Field and Cheerleading Championships fast approaching the Intercollegiate Sports Association and its member institutions must be lauded for their efforts in the developing quality sporting talents.
The Intercollegiate system through its members have consistently produced quality professional athletes, past and present, who have gone on to represent the country and region on the International stage. Names like Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Asafa Powell, Sherone Simpson and more recently Hansle Parchment and Stephanie Mcphearson have all been beneficiaries of the developmental upgrades that Intercollegiate training and participation has facilitated.
However, Intercol has long been a quiet worker playing a strong yet most times not highlighted in the development of our athletes in over 10 sports. Students who leave on international scholarships, High school, prep and primary competition tends to take up most of the headlines thus overshadowing the local collegiate circuit. With improved facilities and coaching methods however, Intercol is beginning to emerge from the shadows is directly linked to the performances of the ‘locally prepared’ athletes on the international stage.
“Since I have been a part of the Intercol Administration, we have made a committed effort to bring to light the work being done not just by the association itself, but also its members which are the tertiary institutions across the island. Intercol can be considered the middle passage or bridge between high school sport and senior competition and a number of our nations stars are given the necessary support and platform within the colleges to become the best they can be.”
One could look at Asafa Powell for example, who was not well known and had little expectations when he stepped away from ISSA Boys and Girls Championships. While at UTECH, Powell subsequently emerged as the World’s fastest man, and is still the sprinter with the most sub 10 times over 100M. Results likes these have persuaded more and more Jamaican youngsters to remain at home for their training and education, hence Intercol becomes even more integral as the number of student-athletes substantially increases within the tertiary institutions.
Hansle Parchment is also another excellent example of the development of talent at the Intercol level. Parchment entered the UWI as a promising athlete, having represented the country at the World Youth level, but had been sidetracked, even competing in the heptathlon rather than the 110mH in his final year of Champs at KC.
Hansle Parchment (left) and Jason Young (right), will be
leading the UWI charge for this year's Intercol men's title.
Parchment is an Olympic Bronze medalist in the 110M hurdles
while Young was the 5th fastest in the world last year over 200M.
However having moved unto the UWI he was able to develop his talent with excellent coaching under a new and vibrant scholarship programme to the heights of becoming the national record holder and Bronze medalist in the event at the London Olympic games. Parchment’s success not only exemplifies the strength of the Intercol program but is reference to the fact that local coaches and programs have become the bench mark in athletics.
We have now seen a shift in the mindset, and this may very well be in part due to the quiet work that Intercol continually executed behind the scenes, where several top youngsters are now remaining in Jamaica for training and education. In Track and Field, names such as Julian Forte, Odail Todd, Kedisha Dallas, Carrie Russell, Janivive Russell, Jason Young and even Great Britain’s Delano Williams all train and go to school in Jamaica.
The Intercollegiate Championships 2014 from April 4 – 5 at the UWI-Usain Bolt Track, will be a showcase of the talented young men and women who now make up the contingent of sporting talent being coached and educated at our island’s tertiary institutions.