FSP Hosts University of Toronto Team for International Development through Sport Practicum


Kingston, Jamaica - Tuesday, June 11, 2024: The Faculty of Sport at the University of the West Indies, Mona hosted a 15-member contingent from the University Of Toronto,(UoT) Canada for the completion of the field component of their course on International Development through Sport from May 27th to June 7th 2024. The group consisted of 12 finalizing students, Dr. Simon Darnell, UoT’s Associate Professor of Sport for Development and Peace, as well as two faculty members from their Student Experience, Advising and Experiential Learning section.

Instructional elements of the integrated sport curriculum were delivered at The UWI Mona and   included guest lectures, sport narratives from Jamaican elite athletes, mini-lessons on Jamaican language and dance, observation and reflection on community sport experiences. Daily physical activity engagement was coordinated by Deena Robinson, a graduate of the Sport Kinetics programme, and students enrolled in the Sport Coaching and Sport Kinetics programmes at the Mona Academy of Sport were integrated into the classroom sessions with the visiting students from University of Toronto.  

Dr. Aldeam Facey, Head of the Mona Academy of Sport, in his welcome address on May 27th, 2024, spoke to the value of the opportunity presented for UWI students to learn alongside their peers from the University of Toronto. He noted that It facilitates development of cultural literacy for both groups while enhancing their academic and professional growth.


Centre (foreground) - UoT student, Angelo Labrador.  Centre (background) - Sakima Mullings, Boxing Coach for the Fight Peace at the Community Centre in Trench Town. 


Dr. Darnell stated that the University of Toronto course is designed to facilitate an informed and critical analysis of Sport Development and Peace in social, institutional and practical terms. He added that it considers both the possibilities and limitations of development and peace through sport.

Highlights of the trip included: Interactions with community sport and non-profit projects in inner-city communities in Kingston aimed at building child resilience and resolving conflicts through sport; a mini cultural study, facilitated by Cultural Studies lecturer Dr. Jahlani Niaah. Dr. Niaah used the life of the late reggae artiste and legend, Bob Marley, to emphasize the connection among sport, spirituality, gender roles and internationalism; Exposure to the beauty and diversity of Jamaica through specific site visits.

Additionally, Dr. Darnell delivered a public lecture on “Sport and International Development” on Thursday, May 30th 2024.

Speaking to the overall experience of the group, Aysem Silveira, final year student of Kinesiology and Physical Education at University of Toronto summarized the International Development through Sport practicum said: “We were fortunate to receive learning opportunities through various modes of delivery, including attending multiple lectures from the UWI staff, whose stories and knowledge were incredibly compelling. Additionally, the fieldwork aspect of our learning experience led us to two amazing sites: Fight for Peace and the Child Resilience programme. We posed many questions and gained insight into the behind-the-scenes efforts that make these programs successful.

“Our stay at The University of the West Indies Mona Campus was exquisite, with the staff making us feel not only welcomed but genuinely included. Experiencing the rich Jamaican culture firsthand provided us with a more in-depth understanding of the island's history, resilience, pride, and beauty. The vibrant traditions, music, and cuisine offered us lasting memories and a deeper appreciation for Jamaica’s heritage.”

Dr. Claudette Coote-Thompson, Curriculum Development Specialist, Office of the Dean, Faculty of Sport chaired the local organizing committee for the educational visit. Allison Scully and Misung Yim were the University of Toronto co-coordinators.


The 12 students from the University Of Toronto, (UoT) Canada along with their lecturer, Dr. Simon Darnell, all pictured with local residents of Arnett Gardens in one of their interactions with community sport and non-profit projects in inner-city communities in Kingston.



June 12, 2024