What is your current professional activity?
Player Development Manager at the West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA)
And your involvement in sport?
Managing Professional Cricketers assigned to me from the 6 Territorial Boards (Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Barbados, Leeward Islands, Jamaica, Windward Islands) which make up Cricket West Indies (CWI).
The aim is to improve the careers of our members and prepare and ensure there is a seamless transition into their post-retirement lives. It entails tailoring and constructing personal plans for each member and being in constant communication with each player in the form of one-on-one interactions and/or workshop sessions as his/her careers progress.
Why did you choose to study the FIFA/CIES Programme in Sport Management at The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus?
There were other options, but none were of the scope, reach and magnitude of this programme. The combination and collaboration of three esteemed institutions- FIFA: the global governing body of the world’s biggest and greatest sport; CIES: sport stalwarts in research, education and consulting services and, The UWI: the premier longstanding tertiary-level institute in the region- it was a no-brainer.
What were your expectations before the start of the course? And… were they met?
I expected a wealth of expertise and knowledgeable educators; professional, helpful and efficient programme administrators; and a sport-crazy cohort, all hungry to learn more about our collective passions. It turned out to be more challenging than I imagined but all the pressure lead to the making of an incredible diamond and a much improved version of myself.
What would you say are the key strengths of the UWI/FIFA/CIES Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management?
The multi-faceted curriculum was a vast strong point and set the programme apart from what other programmes from other universities had to offer. The backing from CIES and FIFA was very enticing and the synergy between the 3 institutions were seamless.
The combination of Face-to-Face and online instruction allowed for great student flexibility and convenience. The student always felt like they were in charge. Also, the 60-40 ratio of Coursework to Final Exam gave students the rare opportunity to apply what was taught in lectures immediately into the real world of sport, in real time.
What benefits (on a personal and/or professional level) did you gain from attending the course?
The programme has broadened my scope way beyond what I see on television during a sports cast. It has shown me that sport is much more than what is on-field and there are so many stakeholders, all of whom are interdependent on each other. It has opened up my horizon onto other sports and enlightened me on many other facets of sport- most of which was beyond my usual bother.
An invitation to the FIFA/CIES Gathering Conference at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Moscow, Russia gave me the opportunity to establish new international sporting relationships and learn about sport in different settings, cultures and how they are administered. It was here my sport family grew and the new relationships built are still very well nurtured.
How have the courses offered by the programme aided in developing your knowledge, competencies, and skills?
Our lecturers were already Moguls in their fields but they were also incredibly conversant in aspects beyond their course portfolios. Every course outline was extraordinarily detailed and outlined expectations, course & assignment specifics and weekly timelines.
The lineup of courses shone new light on aspects of sport which some of us were familiar with but never proficiently knowledgeable about. The transition through courses after every semester showed how interlinked each facet is with the others.
How has the programme contributed to your professional growth and employability?
Professionally, it has led to a total 360-degree turn in my career.
Cricket, in my opinion, is an intrinsic part of being West Indian. When the West Indies Players’ Association called and expressed their interest in me to join their team in extending their Player Development Programme (PDP), it was difficult to mask my reciprocating interest and excitement.
The PDP narrows in on -but is not limited to- bettering the following markers for our members on the bases of- Education, Gym Access, Facility Access, Counselling, Psychology, Personal Training and, Coaching.
To move from a career in Finance to a career in professional sport administration has far exceeded my wildest expectations and I owe that to the programme and the exposure it has given me.
What is your best memory/highlight of the course?
The highlight is without doubt the people. My classmates. My new family. My gratitude to them is immeasurable, they’ve humbled me, encouraged me, lifted me and we carried each other on our shoulders. We fought against each other and for each other. They opened my eyes, my mind and my heart. I love them and the bond we shared throughout the discourse of the programme has become unbreakable.
I will never forget the late night Whatsapp group chats, the weekend meetings at centrally located coffee houses, the last dash to project finish lines and the collective sighs of relief upon submission.
Together we’ve laughed, together we struggled and together we achieved.
Would you recommend the UWI/FIFA/CIES Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management? Why?
Without hesitation- YES.
If you want a fully comprehensive sport programme- this is your choice. If you want knowledgeable, larger-than-life lecturers and programme coordinators working round-the-clock to help you cross the finish line- this is your choice. If you want carefully interviewed, thoroughly reviewed and meticulously selected classmates- with an insatiable appetite for sport just like yourself- then this is your choice. If you want your name next to stand-alones like UWI, FIFA and CIES- this is your choice.
This isn’t multiple choice; other options simply do not stack up.
I wanted to give myself the best. The best was what I got.