Mico University College has recruited some 40 student athletes for the 2012-2013 intercollegiate season, anxious to improve on the performances of the past two years.
Director of Sports Raymond 'KC' Graham said that "with the likes of the University of Technology, the University of the West Indies and G C Foster College on a large recruiting drive, the Mico University has done likewise in a bid to stay competitive and in the process to attract top sport people the Mico University had no choice than to go that route...".
Graham, a former outstanding track and field coach at St Jago High School and had a three-year stint as assistant coach at Hampton University in Virginia, United States, admitted that Mico could not match the financial assistance of UTech and UWI.
But with "sports making a big impact all over the world" and Mico having the reputation as an academic institution, Graham noted that "there are some bright and talented students in the country and we want them to come to Mico and uplift the institution in both sports and academics.
"I am getting excellent support from the top and if we do not recruit like other institutions we are going to lose out in the end," said Graham, a past Miconian, who had high praises for Mico president, professor Claude Packer, whom he stressed had given the programme "maximum support" in the past two years.
A national junior and senior coach, Graham has been carrying out his mandate "to recruit top athletes from high schools and those who have been national representatives in the different sporting disciplines and this venture has borne fruit based on the performances, especially last year where the university had its best ever showing in the field of sports", he explained.
Last season, Mico won the Intercollegiate 50 overs cricket title defeating G C Foster College in the final.
Winning one of their cricket finals, the Cross Roads-based institution is expecting another good year again with Nkrumah Bonner, Schacoya Thomas, Herman Henry and Jason Dawes returning.
Mico have added what it termed "five outstanding players, including two top batsmen from last season's Grace Shield Schoolboy competition.
"... Unlike other institutions we are not going to name the players we have recruited, but they will be unfolded when the season begins," Graham pointed out.
Mico dominated netball last season, clinching the Intercollegiate Senior title for the first time. Seven of their players (out of the 12-member team) took part in the inaugural World University Games in South Africa.
Stalwarts Vangalee Williams, Kimone Tulloch, and Patricia McCalla, all Sunshine Girls, will again return this season, along with intercol MVP Kereissa Kesna.
While keeping the new recruits close to his chest, Graham said they "have been allocated to all sports at the university".
"Mico is also hoping to dominate both male and female football competitions and in this area some serious recruitment has taken place," Graham teased.
Five members from three top women's clubs had been recruited, while three men from three Premier League teams had been drafted, Graham pointed out.
In track and field, Graham will find competing against UTech and G C Foster challenging among the men, but sees the women's division very competitive.
Graham will be coaching the sprint and hurdling events for women this season, with assistance from Noel White, who had duties at Calabar High and Excelsior Community College.