In its drive to ensure Caribbean persons stop ‘making sport at sport’, the Academy of Sport continues building on its academic offering of studies to change the regional mindset, says academy head, Amanda Reifer.
She made the comment last night while addressing the opening of the inaugural Caribbean Sport Conference, organised and hosted by the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, at the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination.
Noting the constantly used region-wide term, ‘we making sport at sport’, Reifer told an audience of young athletes, sports professionals, along with administrators and sports science instructors from the Caribbean and beyond, of a need to change mindsets to move away from this perception.
“We have to change our culture. In order to do this we must be deliberate and intentional. We must embrace the science of sport.”
The three-day conference at Cave Hill will see a range of sports professionals and experts in sports science make presentations to, and hold workshops with, young athletes and administrators across the Caribbean.
Keynote presenter and workshop leader is Professor in the School of Human Kinetics at the University of Ottawa, Terry Orlick.
Reifer said that a follow-on to this conference will be a launch of the Caribbean Sports Journal.
Detailing how the academy has been seeking to change the regional mindset by introducing an academic approach to sports, Reifer said the UWI department “currently offers three academic sports programmes from certificate to post-graduate in Sport Administration and Sport Science.
“The academy also operates the first Sport Science Labs ever to be established in the Caribbean for bio-mechanics and exercise physiology.”
She said in pursuing sporting excellence through the development of its high performance programmes, the academy had established a memorandum of understanding through the University of the West Indies with the University of New Brunswick to offer and deliver the MSC in sport science and was engaging scholars and professionals across the globe, inviting them to participate in Caribbean-specific research.
Director of the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES), Dr Don Marshall, said that the training in sports science and management was not reserved for athletes only, but was opened to the general public.