News Releases

Sterling and Stewart shine at The UWI Vice-Chancellorís Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year Award

For Release Upon Receipt - November 7, 2020


The UWI Regional Headquarters, Jamaica. Saturday, November 7, 2020. — The strategic decision by The University of the West Indies (The UWI) to establish a Faculty of Sport is bearing fruit. The University’s decision, led by Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, to bring sport into the Triple A paradigm of its 2017-2022 strategic plan, has brought the rich in talent youth of the region to the fore. Following the still memorable Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) regional Super 50 tournament win, the latest grand display of student athlete talent came on Wednesday, November 4, as the Vice-Chancellor’s Sports Awards celebrated the region’s youth in multiple sport disciplines.

Shamera Sterling, a star netballer from the Mona Campus and Emmanuel Stewart, an excellent cricketer who studies at the Cave Hill Campus, emerged Vice-Chancellor’s Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year 2020.

The virtual presentation ceremony aired live on UWItv, hosted by the University’s Director of Alumni Relations, Mrs Celia Davidson Francis and featured remarks from Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Dean of the Faculty of Sport, Dr Akshai Mansingh and High Performance Sports Expert, Mrs Amanda Reifer. World renowned cricketers, Mr Courtney Walsh OJ, Mr Michael Holding, and President of the Americas Federation of Netball Associations, Mrs Marva Bernard OD, made special appearances delivering congratulations to the students.

In extending his congratulations to the two winners, as well as the other seven nominees, Vice-Chancellor Beckles noted, “The list of nominees and the awardees are very impressive. Examining their performance records is a journey to recognition of excellence.”

Vice-Chancellor Beckles established the Awards programme with the aim of developing and identifying exemplary student athletes. He spoke also of the University’s commitment to advancing the Caribbean’s sport industry. “We have a Caribbean brand for excellence” he said. “We are a sporting culture that is rich in first class global results. But is it enough? Is it sufficient? Do we not have to transition into other areas of sport? Not only manufacturing and industrialization, but global sport management. Do we have representation that is commensurate with our field performance? The UWI is invested in all of these conversations.”

Dr Mansingh, explained that since its establishment, the Faculty of Sport has put a lot more emphasis in the academics and all the support that goes behind sports in the region. “The University is relied upon to provide sport policy, facilities for the top sportspersons in the region, it possesses the top sports labs, sport medicine clinic and was consulted in this unique year for new areas such as sports bubbles—how to create, manage and execute them.” He added “The UWI is well known for academics being the top university in the Caribbean and ranked among the best in the world, but what is probably not as well known outside of the region is how we are also the top sports university in the region.”

Mrs Amanda Reifer also expounded on The UWI’s vision for sport, stating, “As we celebrate the Vice-Chancellor’s Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year, it is done in the framework of seeing high performance in sport as critical to a modern thinking university.” She added however, “For high performance in the Caribbean to be sustained, good governance must be applied.” She then urged the students to get involved in their sporting clubs and national federations to make positive change and improve these entities across the region.

Mrs Davidson Francis acknowledged that sport adds great value to the UWI student experience and that this year the Awards selection panel had a slate of truly world class nominees. “I know our esteemed Vice-Chancellor is pleased to have had such an awesome pool of talent to select from.”

The other awards finalists included Esther Ward from the Open Campus (football); Amir Jangoo from the St. Augustine Campus (cricket); Dillon Johnson from the Open Campus (basketball); Nicholas Kirton from the Cave Hill Campus (cricket); Ryi Maryat from Cave Hill Campus (football); Romaine Morris from the Mona Campus (cricket) and Khesean Ottley from the St Augustine Campus (cricket).


More about Vice-Chancellor’s Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year 2020

Shamera Sterling plays goal defense and goal keeper, and represented Jamaica at the Netball World Cup in London 2019. She is rated as one of the top defenders in the world and has earned several man of the match performances in the Suncorp Super League, Australia. On her return to Jamaica in September 2019, she captained The UWI Mona Netball team for the 3rd straight year. Her leadership skills and athletic ability aided The UWI Mona Netball team to lift the Jamaica Inter-Collegiate Sports Association Netball title after a seven-year hiatus. Shamera then continued her national representation when she marshalled Jamaica’s defensive end in the Netball Nations Cup in England from January 19-26, 2020. She shone in this competition and earned herself a ‘player of the match’ trophy in one of the four matches contested. Jamaica eventually contested the final of the Netball Nations Cup and placed second.

Emmanuel Stewart competes for the UWI Blackbirds Elite Cricket Team in the Barbados Cricket Association’s Elite Competition. As wicket-keeper batsman, he is key member of the Cave Hill squad. This year, he was selected to represent the Windward Islands Volcanoes regional first class team in the CWI Franchise Competition. In the first three games of the season, Emmanuel scored three half centuries and has racked up 21 dismissals as wicketkeeper. Emmanuel also volunteers with the UWI Blackbirds Junior programme as a mentor, teaching cricket to the youngsters and motivating them to be the best of themselves.

About The UWI

For over 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region and wider world. The UWI has evolved from a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948 to an internationally respected, regional university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and an Open Campus. As part of its robust globalization agenda, The UWI has established partnering centres with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe including the State University of New York (SUNY)-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development; the Canada-Caribbean Institute with Brock University; the Strategic Alliance for Hemispheric Development with Universidad de los Andes (UNIANDES); The UWI-China Institute of Information Technology, the University of Lagos (UNILAG)-UWI Institute of African and Diaspora Studies; the Institute for Global African Affairs with the University of Johannesburg (UJ); The UWI-University of Havana Centre for Sustainable Development; The UWI-Coventry Institute for Industry-Academic Partnership with the University of Coventry and the Glasgow-Caribbean Centre for Development Research with the University of Glasgow.

The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science & Technology, Social Sciences and Sport. 

As the region’s premier research academy, The UWI’s foremost objective is driving the growth and development of the regional economy. The world’s most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education, has ranked The UWI among the top 600 universities in the world for 2019 and 2020, and the 40 best universities in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2018 and 2019, then top 20 in 2020. The UWI has been the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists.  For more, visit

(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)