SOS Outreach - Open Campus Academy of Sport

The University of the West Indies (UWI) Open Campus Academy of Sport (OCAS) and Cricket West Indies (CWI) women’s teams partnered to host an outreach event for a group of teenage girls from the SOS Children’s Village in Stony Hill, Jamaica. The event occurred on Sunday, June 17, 2018, during the West Indies women's cricket tournaments being held in Jamaica. Cricketers from the participating teams, namely Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Barbados and the Windward and Leeward Islands, interacted with the girls and shared their backgrounds, their experiences in the sport, and the skills needed to make it to the professional level.

This is one of several proposed partnerships between the Faculty of Sport and CWI, and the first through the UWI OCAS. Similar events will be scheduled during CWI’s Women’s Championship.  This initiative further builds on the CWI’s objective to increase girls’ and women’s involvement in cricket. Ms. Carole Beckford, Marketing and Communications Manager, CWI, shared that with less than 150 days before the 2018 ICC Women’s T20, these are some of the initiatives the organization will engage in as a part of its legacy programmes. She stated, “Our players and officials are committed to ensuring that our young women (and men) understand the pathways to becoming a professional athlete.”   

This was the first in a series of events to be held by the OCAS to highlight and focus on girls and women in sport and create awareness of the available avenues to pursue a career in sport.  Sports Activity Development Officer, OCAS, Ms. Dayna Smith said, “We are pleased that the CWI has joined us in this initiative and are enthusiastic about working together to promote and advance girls and women in sport throughout the region.” Dean of the Faculty of Sport, Dr. Akshai Mansingh, added, “This is one of many programmes of cooperation between the Faculty of Sport and CWI. Other announcements will follow in short order. Being a cross-campus faculty, we are able to provide for the sports needs across the region.”

National Director, SOS Children’s Villages, Jamaica, Mrs. Nadine Williams remarked, “SOS Children Villages Jamaica welcomes the opportunity to have our children exposed and sensitized to the game of cricket, one of the most popular sports in the Caribbean, and to be given the chance to interact with these cricketers. While we strive for our children to achieve academically, we are aware that a well-rounded child is one who is also exposed to other extra-curricular activities, especially in the areas of sports and the arts. Our girls are very talented, and will utilize opportunities like these to explore their areas of interest to achieve awesome results. We look forward to this relationship, which will not only elevate their interest in the game, but also serve as a possible career choice. The discipline of the game, will also help to develop and mold them into strong and well-rounded future women.”