Lacrosse boss ex­pects growth from US schol­ar­ships

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS - Liv­ingston Scott/Gleaner Writer

PRES­I­DENT OF the Ja­maica Lacrosse As­so­ci­a­tion, Cal­bert Hutchin­son, de­scribed Ishcah Browne and Jes­sica Sylvester, who both re­cently re­ceived full schol­ar­ships to Amer­i­can uni­ver­si­ties, as pi­o­neers and ex­pects the pair to be a source of in­spi­ra­tion for the na­tional women’s pro­gramme.

Last year, Don­ahugh Simp­son of St Ge­orge’s Col­lege and Kenyon Amos of Ja­maica Col­lege (both males) be­came the first Ja­maicans to gain full lacrosse schol­ar­ships to uni­ver­si­ties. Then this May, Sylvester got ac­cepted to Cor­nell Univer­sity, and then in the same month, Browne ac­cepted an of­fer from Alder­son Broad­dus Univer­sity in West Vir­ginia. “These young ladies are pi­o­neers, just as the young men be­fore. The un­der-19 girls went out and took part in the World Cham­pi­onship in Peter­bor­ough (Canada) and the coaches and in­ter­na­tional scouts had their eyes on them, and this is ev­i­dence that we are reap­ing the suc­cess of the pro­gramme that has been put in place in Ja­maica,” said Hutchin­son.

“It has opened the doors a lit­tle wider for Ja­maica and we are go­ing to see a lot more schol­ar­ships as long as we con­tinue to grow the sport in Ja­maica, get more equip­ment and get more schools on board. We will see a lot more per­sons leav­ing on schol­ar­ships,” he added.

He con­tin­ued that when Amos and Simp­son re­turned to the is­land, they pro­vided a source of mo­ti­va­tion and pride.

“They in­spired oth­ers. Don­ahugh came back and took on the role as coach for his school team, be­cause of the level of con­fi­dence he had gar­nered play­ing for the na­tional team.

“So I am 100 per cent sure that it’s the same thing that will hap­pen to the girls. These girls are go­ing to be ac­tively in­volved in more ro­bust train­ing, with more ex­pe­ri­enced coaches, and that ex­pe­ri­ence they are go­ing to take back to their lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties is go­ing trans­late in their per­for­mances for the na­tional team, so it’s a win-win sit­u­a­tion,” Hutchin­son noted. He added that get­ting play­ers into over­seas uni­ver­si­ties on schol­ar­ships was one of the main ob­jec­tives of the ad­min­is­tra­tion.

“When we sat down with our board of di­rec­tors and we went through our strate­gic devel­op­ment plan, open­ing doors to univer­sity and col­lege schol­ar­ships was a part of our ob­jec­tives, along with forg­ing new re­la­tion­ships with stake­hold­ers, be­com­ing a mem­ber of the Ja­maica Olympic As­so­ci­a­tion and get­ting recog­nised by ISSA (In­ter-Se­condary Schools Sports As­so­ci­a­tion). So we are reap­ing suc­cess,” said Hutchin­son. In their short his­tory in the sport, Ja­maica has qual­i­fied for the Men’s un­der-19 and Women’s un­der-19 World Cham­pi­onships, as well as the 2021 Women’s Lacrosse World Cup.

SYLVESTER

BROWNE

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