February 2019

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It’s early January and the campus is quiet. The classrooms are empty and the louvres shut. Only the trees and bushes are lively, swaying and rustling in the breeze. The campus is quiet, but not the cricket pitch.

The Frank Worrell Memorial Grounds, a section of the expansive green field that makes up the domain of the UWI Sport and Physical Education Centre (SPEC) is alive with cricket. The weeks are filled with T20 play as two tournaments are being held almost simultaneously on the campus.

“What we are witnessing on the campus is an explosion of cricket,” says Campus Principal Professor Brian Copeland speaking at the launch of the UWI Universities World T20 Tournament. The month of January has been dubbed “Cricket Month” at UWI St Augustine.

The UWI Universities T20 was held from January 10th to 20th, and included teams from universities in the UK, US and of course the Caribbean. The inaugural event ended with victory for the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) team, the 2018-2019 Regional Super50 Championship winning team made up of student athletes from the region.

Alongside the international cricket action was a top-level local event, the UWI-Unicom National T20 Cricket Tournament. Running from January 5thto 27th, UWI-Unicom brought together teams from Trinidad and Tobago in the 7th annual display of club cricket. The Queen’s Park Cricket Club (QPCC) defeated El Socorro Youth Movement (EYM) by a hefty 137 runs to become the champions.

Both tournaments represent the pay-off of UWI’s investment in cricket and sport in general.

“We know our athletes are world-class because our sporting archives are full of their trophies and medals, and our history is full of tales of their accomplishments,” said Copeland at the launch. “But talent alone is not enough. Athletes need support in every quarter for them to achieve their full potential.”

That support has been building since the 1990s when Vice-Chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles, in his position as Sports Coordinator at the Cave Hill Campus, led several initiatives to revitalise cricket at UWI and within the West Indies.

Another product of the emerging “sports mindset” was the establishment of UWI SPEC in 2003, the brainchild of Dr Iva Gloudon, former Director of Sport and Physical Education. Then in 2017, the Faculty of Sport was established at UWI’s regional headquarters.

In the words of Professor Copeland, “It was based on a vision to take Caribbean sport to a higher level by providing premier education packages in the field. The plan is to integrate teaching and research, professional development, community partnerships, and co- and extra-curricular student support”.

But for the many spectators at the Frank Worrell Grounds, the “how” of Cricket Month is nowhere near as important as the action on the pitch and the energy in the stands. Perhaps most impressively, through their support for UWI-Unicom and the creation of tournaments such as the World Universities T20, The UWI will not only give cricket lovers more of the game, they will also develop the players to take the West Indies into a new era.


UWI-Unicom National T20 Cricket Tournament Teams:

Queen’s Park Cricket Club (QPCC)
Endeavour Hills Cricket Club
Central Sports Cricket Club
Prisons Sports Club
UWI Cricket Team
Cane Farm Sports Club
Club Crusoe Cricket Club
Powergen Sports Club
Munroe Road Cricket Club (MRCC)
Merry Boys Cricket Club
Clarke Road Cricket Club
El Socorro Youth Movement (EYM)

Inaugural UWI World Universities T20 Tournament Teams:

Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC)
UWICricket Team
Tertiary Sport Association of Trinidad and Tobago (TSATT)
Oxford Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC)