Olympic champion Parchment wants more educational opportunities for athletes
PARCHMENT...we need to seesome more of the scholarshipsgoing to the athletes as well(Photo: Observer file)

Olympic champion Hansle Parchment has called for more sports scholarships to be given to students of The University of West Indies and even from proceeds of the upcoming 10th Annual CB Group UWI 5K and Smart Eggs Kids K.

Parchment, who won gold in the 110m hurdles at the recent Olympic Games in Tokyo, was honoured at Wednesday's virtual media launch and urged the university to seek more “balance” to make it more attractive to people overseas.

The event, which will be held virtually for the second year between October 24 and November 25, aims to raise “much needed funds for academically outstanding students in dire financial need at The University of the West Indies”.

Pointing out that he was the beneficiary of a scholarship to UWI-Mona, Parchment said: “I am a sportsman and I need to talk for the sports people. We need to see some more going to the athletes getting some of these scholarships.

“We understand that balance is important and we know that a lot of athletes sometimes struggle in the educational side of things, so we need to see some more of the scholarships going to the athletes as well.”

The Thomas native said efforts could also be made to get other students involved in sports as a drawing card for international students.

“...The normal students who are very good in academics, they should be urged to get involved in sports...it's not only track and field, [as] we have football, we have tennis and swimming, we have so many other sports.

“I think the university...should be up there in sports as well [as] academics and we would be a great all-round university and we would attract people from all over the world coming here to be a part of this family,” Parchment noted.

He said he was grateful for his scholarship to the UWI-Mona which allowed him to study and also compete at the highest level. He also paid tribute to his mother, who spotted his potential early as a student and athlete.

“I myself was on a sports scholarship and it paid my way... thank God, I pushed myself in track and field. My mother was very instrumental in me getting so far in track and field as she saw that I was interested in something good and she would even borrow the money to make sure that I got to training when I was at Morant Bay High School,” Parchment shared.

A release from the organisers stated: “Despite the ongoing worldwide pandemic, the CB Group UWI 5K and Smart Eggs Kids K will go virtual once again this year from October 24 to November 25, allowing persons from around the globe to participate in a most worthwhile cause - raising much-needed funds for academically outstanding students in dire financial need at The University of the West Indies.

“While the event, under the theme 'Running for Dreams', will not be held on the UWI campus this year, by virtue of it being virtual, a greater opportunity is being created to allow people to participate throughout the region and globally.”

Participants have to register on an online platform and can participate anytime during a five-week period and upload times on the website. Everyone who completes an event will be awarded with medals.

BY PAUL A REID Observer writer reidp@jamaicaobserver.com

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