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Athletes Rep UWI at Rio 2016 Olympics

For Release Upon Receipt - Thursday, August 11, 2016

A total of five past and present UWI students are slated to compete in three disciplines at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games which kick off on Friday 5 August, 2016. The Olympic hopefuls from the regional university include four current students from Jamaica and one 2015 alumnus from Trinidad and Tobago; all are track and field athletes.

The UWI athletes and their sports are as follows:

The UWI, Mona Campus (representing Jamaica)

Shanieka Thomas – women’s triple jump

Deuce Carter – men’s 110m hurdles

Jaheel Hyde – men’s 400m hurdles

Frederick Dacres – men’s discus throw

The UWI, St Augustine Campus (representing Trinidad and Tobago)

Jenhue Gordon (2015 alumnus) – 400m hurdles

The UWI also recognises Jamaican star athletes, Usain Bolt who will compete in the men’s 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay races and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce who will compete in the women’s 100m and 4x100m relay races. Bolt received an honorary doctor of laws degree from The UWI in 2011 and the inaugural Vice-Chancellor’s Alumni Exemplar Sports Award in 2015. Fraser-Pryce will also receive an honorary UWI doctor of laws degree during The UWI Mona 2016 graduation ceremonies.

Congratulating the athletes on their Olympic qualifications he remarked, “What an exciting time for our young University with these phenomenal athletes in the spotlight! There’s a personal level of pride I feel as a former student athlete and sportsman myself. After championing a culture of sport at The UWI for over 30 years, it is doubly rewarding to witness their success and opportunity to pursue their sports without sacrificing academics. This is the kind of environment I’ve always envisioned, one that cultivates passion and the impact of strong pedagogy. Their elevation to this level of their sports is recognised, respected and marked in The UWI's history. Our extraordinary region has made incredible contributions to sport. No other civilisation has produced as many sportsmen and sportswomen per capita as the Caribbean and it gives us great pride at UWI to continue to contribute to this legacy. Caribbean athletics and The UWI are synonymous with being great West Indian traditions, so it is no coincidence that in addition to our representation at international cricket earlier this year that we are now here. Our University is well on its way to becoming known as a centre for sporting excellence.”

The UWI which spans 17 islands across the Caribbean region has produced numerous professional athletes in its over 6o years of existence. All four campuses also offer training from certificate to masters’ programmes in sport and are home to outstanding sporting facilities that are used for high performance training. Earlier this year, Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles announced plans to develop a Faculty of Sport and establish the University as a Centre for Sporting Excellence.


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