Students of the G. C. Foster College of Physical Education and neighboring residents practice during a workshop
The G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport, which has produced some of Jamaica's most outstanding athletes and coaches in various disciplines, is adding wrestling to its roster of sports, the Jamaican Information Service reported Sunday.
The reason the college is adding wrestling is to educate future coaches for the sport, who then can bring wrestling to schools throughout the Caribbean island nation.
Dr. Joyce Graham-Royal, who heads up the college located just outside the capital of Kingston, said that the introduction of wrestling at the college "will bring tremendous opportunity for students to be exposed to a new discipline."
Graham-Royal is already looking to a future where Jamaicans can compete in wrestling at the international level, saying if children are introduced to the sport at an early age, by the time they get to Olympic-level competition, "they will be excellent at it."
The school's president also noted that wrestling, like other sports, offers benefits beyond improving physical health.
"You can gain many skills that our nation needs at this time, such as body awareness, self-confidence, mental toughness, team spirit and tolerance," she said.
Last month, G.C. Foster College hosted a five-day wrestling workshop conducted by the Future Champs of Texas organization which attracted more than 50 students from primary and secondary schools and colleges, as well as community members and persons interested in becoming instructors.
Participants were exposed to the areas of coaching and competition, and engaged in the sport as a fun activity.
G.C. Foster College and Future Champs of Texas have signed a three-year memorandum of understanding, and plan to conduct additional wrestling workshops over the life of that contract, according to the Jamaica Observer.
The G.C. Foster College of Physical Education & Sport is a full-time residential institution located on 41 acres at St. Catherine, Jamaica, approximately 20 miles from Kingston. The college, the first of its kind to be established in the English-speaking Caribbean in September 1980, was named in honor of Gerald Claude Eugene (G.C.) Foster, an athlete in the early 20th century who, among other accomplishments, earned a gold medal for Jamaica in the 100-meter dash at the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis.