THE changing perception of sports from being only for the academically challenged to one which offers a genuine career path has upped the ante among local tertiary institutions, as they jostle to attract the most talented athletes through scholarships for study. In the last few years, several of Jamaica’s most successful junior and youth athletes have been going on to higher education at local institutions such as the University of Technology (UTech), University of the West Indies (UWI) and The Mico University College. In fact, the G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport, which was once the premier institution to attend for sports persons, especially those who wished to pursue a career in the teaching, has suffered. The school’s principal, Joyce Graham-Royale, told The Gleaner yesterday that many athletes had chosen other tertiary institutions because of the range of programmes offered. “Offering scholarships now has become very competitive. Most of the other prominent schools are offering scholarships. It’s a question of who can offer them the most,” she said. “The whole sporting landscape has changed and everybody is recognising that it has changed and a lot of sportsmen and women are springing up and there has to be an avenue for them to improve and get an education at the same time, and so we are creating them,” she added. Graham-Royale, who was an education officer for physical education and sports with the Ministry of Education before becoming principal at G.C. Foster, said a major part of the shift started when the curriculum for physical education in primary and high schools changed. “It is now examined at both CSEC and CAPE Levels. Sport is big business and everybody is wanting a piece of the pie right now,” she said. “The colleges and universities are getting more students who are more aware of the importance of participation in physical education and sport. The schools are preparing them at that level and the universities are coaching them at that level.” Netball has benefited significantly, with many national players now attending universities locally on scholarships. These include Vangelee Williams and squad member Trishana Hanson, who attend The Mico and Malysha Kelly, Tristina Harwood, Nadine Bryan, Shadian Hemmings, Antonette Stone and Shameera Sterling, who have or are attending the UWI. Director of Sports at The Mico, Raymond Graham, told The Gleaner that his institution started offering scholarships to netballers as intercollegiate sports became more competitive. “(We wanted) to give an education, a degree and also there are very good student athletes. Everyone has become very competitive. A lot more people are staying in Jamaica now and college rivalry is a big thing now for bragging rights,” he said. Heavy recruitment “They (universities) are recruiting hard and it’s about who can get the best,” he added. UWI director of sports, Dalton Myers, said the university opened up its scholarship offerings in 2010 and immediately reaped the benefits, having won the Inter-collegiate netball crown twice and made it to four finals in the last five years. “We recognised that we wanted to give more sports scholarships and Netball Jamaica wanted to keep their athletes home. A lot of them were going away and we wanted to help the association and Jamaica in general, helping them to be a part of the national setup.” Myers noted that 2016 Rhodes Scholar, Sherona Forrester, who attended the UWI on a football scholarship, also played netball for the university. Graham-Royale noted that helping students gain an education was of utmost importance. “They need something to backup if the sport doesn’t work out and that’s why they register at G.C. Foster,” she said.
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India lost opener Lokesh Rahul to end the opening day of the second Test at 11/1 after bowling out Sri Lanka for 205 in the final session at the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium on Friday.Opener Murali Vijay (2 not out) and No.3 Cheteshwar Pujara (2 not out) were at the crease when the umpires dislodged the bails for the day.For the visitors, paceman Lahiru Gamage picked up the solitary wicket of Rahul, who got an inside edge back onto his stumps after trying to flirt with a delivery outside the off-stump.Rahul started the Indian response on a positive note, getting off the mark with a boundary through mid-off before going into a shell, which saw him consume 13 deliveries for his brief knock.Day 1 of the 2nd #INDvSL Test belonged to the bowlers, as India bowled Sri Lanka out for 205, before reaching Stumps on 11/1.SCORECARD: https://t.co/7xeY6qGkEZ pic.twitter.com/5gWSnQ2iZP- ICC (@ICC) November 24, 2017Earlier, Indian spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja wreaked havoc, sharing seven wickets to bowl out Sri Lanka for 205 in their first innings.Ashwin, who went wicketless in the first two sessions, broke the backbone of the Lankan innings by removing skipper Dinesh Chandimal, who top-scored with a patient 122-ball 57 before adding three more wickets to return with figures of 4/67.Left-arm spinner Jadeja complemented the off-spinner well, finishing with 3/56 while veteran paceman Ishant Sharma also picked up three wickets giving away 37 runs in his 14 overs.Resuming the final session at 151/4, the tourists found the going tough and lost wickets at regular intervals with their last six wickets falling for just 54 runs.advertisementBesides Chandimal, opener Dimukh Karunaratne (51 from 147; 6×4) and stumper Niroshan Dickwella (24 from 30; 4×4) were the only other batsmen who managed to provide some resistance to the Indian spin duo.The series is currently squared at 0-0 after the drawn opening Test at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 205 (Dinesh Chandimal 57, Dimukh Karunaratne 51, Niroshan Dickwella 24; Ravichandran Ashwin 4/67, Ravindra Jadeja 3/56, Ishant Sharma 3/37) vs India 11/1 (Lokesh Rahul 7, Murali Vijay 2 not out, Cheteshwar Pujara 2 not out; Lahiru Gamage 1/4).