Sun | Jan 24, 2021

Embrace us! - Wilson calls for greater support of GC Foster ­College by sporting ­associations

Published:Monday | February 11, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Charokee Young (left) of Hydel High School wins Heat Two in the Class One girls’ 200m and goes on to place third in the timed final with 24.98 seconds during the Douglas Forrest Invitational Meet held at the GC Foster College of Physical Education and Sport in St Catherine on Saturday, January 12. The institution, apart from hosting major local track and field meets, has produced some of Jamaica’s most prominent coaches and athletes.

Many experts in sports have credited the GC Foster College of Physical Education and Sport for the widespread development of athletics in Jamaica.

Acting principal Maurice Wilson believes the only reason other sporting disciplines have not enjoyed the same amount of ­success is that they have not embraced the only sports institution in the English-speaking Caribbean the way the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) has.

He said GC Foster has the ­personnel and expertise to engineer development in all the Olympic sports and warns that if the institution is not utilised ­properly, the country risks not capitalising on the lucrative business that sport has become.


“One of the main reasons why we are so successful in track and field is because the only association that has worked with GC Foster College wholeheartedly since 2001 is the JAAA. We do courses for them, their philosophy is in line with the college’s philosophy, and because of this, we have become partners. It is not by chance why the coaches that we produced have done so well in track and field. It is because of the association of the JAAA and GC Foster College,” Wilson explained.

“If GC Foster dies, sports in Jamaica dies. If the associations embrace the college and its philosophy, then their sports will grow. We train persons as specialists in all the major sports. For the lesser sports, if we do not have their sports as a course, we have them as an elective. We have fencing, table tennis, lawn tennis, and others sports.

“When persons talk about ­developing Olympic sports, that cannot be done through the associations, it has to be done through GC Foster College, which is equipped to do so.

“A lot of time when persons are talking about developing sports, they attempt do something ­without the engine, which is the college, because we prepare the persons to go out there and spread the message.”

President of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), Christopher Samuda, agrees that GC Foster can be the catalyst through which Jamaica diversifies itself in sports but challenged the institution to do more in showing the various associations how they can improve their sports.

“The JOA supports an institution such as GC Foster that allows coaches to find their competence and expertise,” he said. “So, if we have an institution where coaches can be trained, then it can be a catalyst for the Olympic movement. But what we have to do is to ensure that the institution is equipped with scientific competencies. What has happened is that these First World countries are far advanced with the science, and we need to complement the academic with the science.

“GC Foster has to have far more of a strategic approach in terms of marketing its value to other ­associations and federations. That is not say that they have not done a very good job over the years, but if you are to capture the other sports, then you have to have a very robust market campaign.”