August 2017

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“If there’s one industry that we can develop right now to diversify our economies and make our economies competitive, it is to build a sporting industry in our region,” says The UWI Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles. He was speaking at the official launch of the University’s Faculty of Sport on July 26 at The UWI Regional Headquarters in Jamaica.

Vice-Chancellor Beckles referenced a PWC report which assessed the global sport industry to be worth an estimated $145b and growing at an annual rate of 4.5%. “This is something that we must now take very seriously. This sporting industry is the place of the greatest convergence in the global economy. It’s the place where all the industries are interconnected.” He noted the obvious nexus between sport and entertainment, sport and technology, sport and medicine sport and tourism and many other industries.

“Sport is at the centre of all of that, translating into economic growth. We’re hoping that our Faculty will do all the relevant research, teaching and learning to participate in that conversation with our investors, our entrepreneurs, our public sector, our global manufacturers to enable that focus to take place here in the Caribbean space that is so rich in sporting talent.”

The Faculty of Sport is the first to be established at The UWI in 40 years. The University Council approved its recommendation in April this year and it becomes operational in the 2017-2018 academic year.

Dr. Akshai Mansingh, Dean of the Faculty of Sport, was not making sport. “For too long, sport has been a past-time for the region. We really don’t have the superstar culture, even though our first super star walked onto the field in 1930 when George Headley made his Test debut,” he said.

“The creation of the Faculty of Sport gives an opportunity to bring together all of the creative and scientific minds of the region, while harnessing leaders in all aspects of sports from throughout the world to offer the support to the athletes, many of whom have chosen to make this region their home to perfect their skills. But the Faculty of Sport doesn’t only cater to those who play sports, but also to those who play at sports. Creative academic minds with interest in anything to do with sports will have the opportunity to pursue their research, and practitioners such as coaches, sports and conditioning experts, sports physiotherapists etc., will also find a forum in this faculty as well,” he said.

Chair of the Faculty of Sport Task force, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Mona Principal, Professor Archibald Mc Donald said, “The launch of this new faculty will not only aid in formally legitimising sports education, training and research in the higher learning industry for the Caribbean, but it will also aid in driving development and economic growth prospects for our region. Sport is at the heart of our regional identity.”

“We must begin to formally invest in this industry if we expect to see greater returns for the future. The launch of this faculty facilitates The UWI’s goal of laying the necessary foundations in moving the sport initiative in the Caribbean in a right and positive direction. To build great athletes and place our mark in the international sport industry we must first invest in a centre of excellence here that explores the research behind sport, which will engage in state-of-the-art teaching and learning about the complexities of sport, whilst providing the facilities and tools that will facilitate training excellence in all fields of sport,” he said.

Dr Akshai Mansingh is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and Sports Medicine Physician who has looked after elite athletes throughout the region. A graduate of The UWI, Dr Mansingh earned his Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery and his Doctor of Medicine, Orthopaedics degrees at the Mona Campus. He also holds a Master’s in Sports Medicine from the University of New South Wales in Australia.

Dr Mansingh has been a lecturer in the Department of Surgery, Sports Medicine in Radiology, Anaesthetics and Intensive Care at The UWI, Mona since 2007, as well as the Programme Director and Course Author for the campus’ MSc Sports Medicine degrees (for Physicians and Physiotherapists) since 2006. He is also the author of numerous publications in his various specialisations and has written on Methods for Injury Surveillance in International Cricket among many other cricket and sport science themes.

Outside his academic pursuits, Dr Mansingh is Chief Medical Officer of both the West Indies Cricket Board and the Caribbean Premier League. He was a member of the inaugural International Cricket Council Medial Committee and is a member of its Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee. He has been a cricket analyst and commentator for over 20 years. He also serves as a member of several regional and international societies including The Caribbean Orthopaedic Association, Jamaican Orthopaedic Association, the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

As Dean of the new Faculty of Sport, Dr Mansingh is responsible for its overall academic and administrative management, including its financial affairs. He is also expected to represent the Faculty on all relevant Campus and University Boards and Committees as well as with external stakeholders.

For more information on the Faculty of Sport visit: