The University of the West Indies Mona is making itself marketable in the area of sports by providing athletic students the opportunity to choose from a wide variety of sporting activities. Like the other traditional sports that are renowned for there several championships, badminton is quickly being adopted in the family of sports by students at the University. This sport has been played for the past 10 years at UWI and like every thriving sport, has moved from ‘complete damnation’ to ‘well deserved victories.’
Anthony Rust has led the teams (both male and females playing doubles and singles) as coach for the past four years to many triumphs. The teams competed in Tournaments such as Racketeers Tournament, Chinese Benevolent Association and Jamaica Badminton Association Calendar winning numerous titles and trophies. The most recent accomplishment for the male Badminton team, captained by Vishwamauth Tolan, are 2006 champions for the intercollegiate Tournment and runner up in 2008 and 2009. Females on the other hand, have excelled and remain consistent in first or second place. According to Mr. Rust ‘for this year 2010 I want to lead my teams to victory in intercollegiate competition, however, the worst case scenario can only be second place.’ With much confident and passion for the sport Rust have dedicated his teams to regular practice at the Bowl and at the Guild of Students’ badminton court.
The Badminton teams are doing excellent thanks to Rust and determine team players such as national representative Haidikay Williams and Vishwamauth Tolan. His vision for the teams this year is to mold players in such a way that they meet national standard and go on to join National Badminton training programmes. Rust refuses to settle for anything other than the best this academic year. He believes that ‘the world is longer an average one; people are striving either to be best or to produce the best results.’
Amidst all the victories Rust is concerned with the sporting facilities offered by the university as he complained that often times he has to cancel practice or take his team else where because of the limited space at the Bowl. He also spoke to fact that scholarships are not offered to students wanting to play this sport and as a result the best players usually goes to other Universities. Although these are some of the draw backs of the sport the UWI Mona Sport Department is behind the teams a hundred percent and continues to support the development of the teams. UWI has placed in its development plan for the future a Multi-sport facility where teams such as badminton will have no problem in training.
Keep up the excellent job Badminton players!!