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Faculty of Sport

Academy of Sport

Dr. Alleyne's Recipe for the Academy's Sporting Success
Written by: Shane Lewis

Rudolph-Alleyne.jpgIf new Head of Department Dr. Rudolph Alleyne has his way, the Academy of Sport Cave Hill will change the sporting landscape of Barbados in ways that will be remembered for generations to come. The defining factor for Dr. Alleyne is his genuine passion to see sport realize its potential locally, regionally and internationally. The Academy is equipped with world-class facilities at the University of the West Indies. The ultimate goal of the Academy of Sport is to create professional athletes, coaches and administrators through well-structured and scientifically based High Performance Centers and Academic Programmes.

The dream extends even further given that part of the vision Dr. Alleyne has for the Academy is to see strategic linkages be made with the National Associations of all sports here, which will allow for the sharing of knowledge and increasing the resources available for all parties involved. These partnerships will allow for developmental workshops, seminars and conferences and will go a long way in improving the quality of sports on a whole.

There are various projects currently in the planning stages under Dr. Alleyne's stewardship, with the Young Elite Sportspersons (YES) Programme being one such initiative. YES will cater to the needs of promising athletes 13 - 17 years and will focus on exposing Barbadian sportspersons to the elite practices in sports training and skills development by introducing them to the concepts and scientific principles of sport, and the intricacies of long-term development. The YES Programme will establish the University of the West Indies as a viable option for prospective students with an interest in sport development, and serve as one of the community outreach programmes under the Academy of Sport. Athletes from the YES Programme will then form the nucleus of the Cave Hill Academy of Sport's Annual Elite Junior Summer Camp to be held during the month of July.

The YES Programme will serve as a feeder for a second initiative of the Academy, the Long-term Elite Athlete Development (LEAD) Programme. LEAD is designed to introduce senior talented athletes (age 18 and over) to a structured high-performance programme in sport. This will enable them to hone their sporting talents, permitting them to compete regionally and internationally with a high degree of success and distinction. Contemporary and proven Sport Science techniques and advances will underpin this programme, which will see a cadre of the best sport professionals working with these athletes. Dr. Alleyne anticipates that by the third year of this programme, at least six of these athletes will be internationally ranked in their respective sporting disciplines. 

Apart from being able to develop local and regional athletes and National Associations, Dr. Alleyne also believes that the facilities at the University are integral in attracting professional teams and athletes, and generating income. Whether these professionals require access to an internationally-rated Football field, Athletics Track or Cricket Field to fine tune their skills or to test their fitness levels in the Exercise Physiology Lab, Dr. Alleyne is positioning the Academy to cater to the needs of all sportspersons. 

Given the targets and goals that have been set, it is safe to say that the future of the Academy is bright and its success will benefit not only the University but sports in the region on a whole.