Sporting Collaboration between the University of Pretoria and Jamaica

December 18, 2013   Education News
(PRLEAP.COM) Johannesburg, South Africa The collaboration followed a visit to the University of Pretoria's sports facilities, including the High Performance Centre (HPC), by the Jamaican Minister of Sport, the honourable Ms Neita Headly, who was one of the delegates from around the world that attended the fourth World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Conference on 12 and 13 November 2013.

Referring to the already existing Memorandum of Understanding signed by the University of Pretoria and the University of Technology of Jamaica, which outlines the exchange of technical support, Minister Headly said that since Jamaica was seeking to increase its sporting disciplines and South Africa was planning to extend its sporting programmes, particularly in the field of athletics, she believed that 'our collaborative efforts in terms of exchange of ideas will benefit both countries'.

She further said that her country was looking forward to partnering with the University of Pretoria and South Africa when expanding its sporting disciplines into the global sporting arena. She added: 'We look to the University of Pretoria and the rest of the country as we collaborate in order to attain our mutual goal. The collaboration will be in respect of mutually beneficial exchange programmes involving coaches and the university personnel.'

The Executive Director of Sport and Infrastructure at the University of Pretoria, Prof Antonie de Klerk, reiterated the importance of collaboration between the University of Pretoria and the University of Technology of Jamaica. He also acknowledged the overwhelming performance of the latter's track and field athletes, particularly its sprinters. Prof de Klerk pointed out that the University of Pretoria considers sports as a serious business and has already recorded some very remarkable achievements in this field. 'This year the University of Pretoria has experienced an incredible sports year in respect of several of its sport codes,' he said.

Jamaica produces the world's fastest runners and in the past decade most of the sprint events have been dominated by male and female runners from this Caribbean Island. Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell and Verona Campbell-Brown are among Jamaica's world record holders and Olympic gold medallists.

Minister Headly emphasised the fact that Jamaica's excellence on the sports field is a source of national pride for the youth of this tiny island with its population of only 2.5 million. 'Our international performance in sports started at the grass-roots level. We have recently embarked on a project to improve sports infrastructure in 23 of the 230 high schools in an attempt to demonstrate the value we place on our youngsters and the coaches who give so much of themselves to represent the country,' she said.

According to Minister Headly, the world is focusing on Jamaica with its magnificent talent. For this reason they are currently strengthening their doping test programmes to safeguard the integrity of sport and to ensure that athletes compete fairly to achieve success by relying only on hard work and natural talent.

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The University of Pretoria (UP) is the leading research university in South Africa and one of the largest in the country. The university has seven campuses as well as a number of other sites of operation, such as the Pretoria Academic Hospital. Central administration is located at the Hatfield Campus. The University of Pretoria offers more than 1,800 academic programmes in two of the official languages, namely Afrikaans and English. (Some programmes and modules are offered only in English.)

In 1996, the University of Pretoria became the university with the highest research output in South Africa and we have maintained this status. The University of Pretoria celebrated its Centenary in 2008. The academic programmes of the University are offered in nine faculties, as well as a business school. The faculties comprise a total of 140 departments and 85 centres, institutes and bureaus. UP is at the forefront of tertiary education in the country and collaborates with world-class partners to ensure continued excellence in learning and teaching. For more information please go to: http://web.up.ac.za/.
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