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Caribbean needs sports science to attain the next level

By Shamkoe Pile

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (BGIS) — The rest of the world has managed to surpass the Caribbean in sports simply because they have incorporated science into sports.

Minister of Creative Economy, Culture and Sports, John King, shared this view at the launch of the Sports Science Society of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill Campus, Monday at the Usain Bolt Sports Complex.

Students of the Faculty of Sport at The UWI Cave Hill formed the organization, which will cater to the needs of fellow students, as well as develop sports in a holistic manner in the wider Barbadian community.

Minister King praised the students on the “historic occasion”, stressing that their skills would be critical to taking local and regional sportspersons to another level. He lamented that the Caribbean was playing catch up compared to the rest of the world in the area of sports science, a multi-disciplinary study which includes the human anatomy, physiology and seeking to understand and enhance human performance.

“It is not just the athlete; it is the medicine, the nutrition and the other sciences that go behind it. If you look and see what is happening across the Caribbean, look at our sportsmen, we have been able to produce out of literally nothing, top-class athletes, cricketers [and] footballers…. When you look across the world, in the Premier League and other [international games], you have West Indians from different islands playing. You can find them as far away as Asia.

“We have done it basically; and I could be challenged on this, almost 99.9 percent of the time on pure talent alone. What you are beginning to do is to give us a chance to be able to compete at, and complete different levels. This is being able to bring the science to sport,” he contended.

The Sports minister lamented that sports in the Caribbean has been seen as a recreational endeavour for too long and argued that despite the excellent achievements of many of its great athletes and sportspersons, the region would go a lot further if science was applied to sports.

“Imagine if in the heyday of cricket that we had your skills available to us. There would be no way that we would not still be the cricketing champions of the world.  But what has happened is that the rest of the world has gone past us in understanding science. It’s the science of the body, science of the mind and just the science of everything connected with the sport and that is what has been beating us for a long, long time,” he surmised.

Also speaking at the launch was president of the Sports Science Society, Taahir Bulbulia, who said he was honoured to be the first person to serve in such a role.

Stating the society was established for all students and was a “progressive step in student participation”,  Bulbulia added that the Society will put sports science theory into practice by going into community clubs that needed help.  The other members of the body are vice president, Kavir Gaymes; Secretary, Tia Mitchell; public relations officer, Najee Moore; Sports event coordinators, Jevander Richards and Johann Lashley; and special advisor, Dr Rudolph Alleyne.



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