Minister of Sport Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange says a scholarship, valued at $1.8 million, has been established to commemorate the 100th birthday of Jamaica’s first Olympic gold medallist, Arthur Wint.
The scholarship will be awarded to a second-year student enrolled in a four-year degree programme at G.C. Foster College for Physical Education and Sport and will cover tuition and accommodation for the remainder of the programme, as long as the recipient satisfies certain requirements.
Grange told The Gleaner that a GPA of 3.0 or above will be required to qualify for the scholarship, and also noted that the successful applicant must agree to participate in initiatives and programmes organised by G.C. Foster College and the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, aimed at promoting the work of the school, the ministry and the legacy of Arthur Wint.
PAVED THE WAY
“Arthur Wint led the way, literally, and, we might say, set the pace for Jamaica’s track athletes,” said Grange. “His winning the first Olympic medal for Jamaica gives him a place in our glorious track and field history that no one can ever take from him.”
Meanwhile, principal of G.C. Foster College, Maurice Wilson, said he is delighted to be partnering with the Ministry of Sport in establishing this scholarship in honour of Wint.
“I am very excited about this scholarship award because I think it is more than timely,” said Wilson. “The sports ministry and G.C. Foster College have had an excellent relationship, especially through the sports minister, who has always been a friend of the college,” Wilson said.
“I think if a scholarship was to be given in honour of the great Arthur Wint, then there is no other place that student should attend than G.C. Foster College,” Wilson noted.
Dr Warren Blake, president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association, described the decision to establish a scholarship in Wint’s honour as an excellent move by the sports minister.
“I think it is a good idea to recognise one of our stalwarts by way of a scholarship in his honour,” said Dr Blake. “I just want to implore the individual that will receive this scholarship that he or she should remember the name and the achievements of the person whose name that they have been given an award in.”
“I think that they should try to emulate his achievements, if not on the track, (then) in academics,” Dr Blake said.
Wint would have turned 100 on May 25. He captured the country’s first Olympic gold medal when he won the men’s 400m in 46.2 seconds in London, England, in 1948. He also won silver in the 800m at those Games, before returning in 1952 to win gold in the 4x400m and silver in the 800m at the Helsinki Olympics.
The Manchester native died in 1992 at the age of 72.