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 Neil Speight (Executive Director, BCB), Mitchel Johnson, Marcus Johnson and Brenda Johnson (Marcus' Parents)

October 20, 2008

Marcus Johnson awarded University of Trinidad and Tobago Full Cricket Scholarship

The BCB is extremely pleased to announce that the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) has awarded Marcus Johnson a full cricket scholarship at the Academy of Sport and Leisure High Performance Unit. In his first year, Marcus will complete a Certificate Programme in Sports Studies, which will prepare him for an undergraduate degree in sport and physical education. The certificate is a full-time programme that introduces students to sport science, sport administration, teaching physical education and youth sport coaching.

The University of Trinidad and Tobago established its Academy of Sports and Leisure in recognition of the value of fitness and health to students' achievement of academic excellence as well as its contribution to the development of sport as outlined in the National Sports Policy. The Academy of Sports and Leisure upholds the idea of a sound mind in a sound body and is dedicated to serving the university through academic, recreational and high performance sporting development.

In terms of selection and placement for students within the Caribbean, the Academy of Sport and Leisure (ASL), selects up to five (5) regional players whom after a series of training and screening sessions, coaches deem fit and have what it takes to train and become part of the cricket team at the University and Marcus is the fourth player selected thus far to be awarded such an esteemed scholarship opportunity.

The Academy of Sport and Leisure hosts a number of elite academic staff members, professors, coaches, and trainers with Mr. Ken Butcher being the Sports Coordinator for the Academy of Sport, and former West Indies Cricket Members like Mr. Larry Gomes and Mervyn Dillon who are currently attached to the Cricket Scholarship as High Performance Coaches with Mr. Tony Gray (Former W.I. fast bowler) being the Head Coach for the UTT Cricket Scholarship Team.

All athletes under the University of Trinidad and Tobago will be exposed to a variety of tours and foreign international experiences. Recently the cricket team had the opportunity to attend a ten (10) day workshop at the University of the West Indies where the feature speakers were Mr. Mike Young (Current Australian Fielding Coach) and Mr. Darren Holder (Former West Indies Fielding Coach). Athletes will also be given the opportunity to attend workshops, masters' classes and seminars on sexual education, health and nutrition, media conferencing and a host of other networked activities that are holistically geared towards their overall development. The school had quite a number of athletes that came out of this program with exceptional skills and abilities like Rayad Emrit and Kieron Pollard who are now members of the Masters Stanford Cricket Team.

Marcus is currently a member of the U19 National Team and plays for Somerset CC. He competed in the Sir Garfield Sobers Tournament, Barbados, in July and is a talented young off-spinner.

President of the BCB, Reginald Pearman, congratulated Marcus, "On behalf of the Board I would like to thank the University of Trinidad and Tobago for this opportunity for Marcus to improve his cricket and continue his studies at the next level.  I would also like to congratulate Marcus on his achievement. As a talented young bowler and committed student, I am confident that Marcus will grasp this opportunity with both hands. The Board continues to look at avenues for our young players to realise their true potential and I hope to see many more opportunities develop."

National Coach, Gus Logie, stated, "This is another tangible way of the Board?s continued commitment to the improvement of our young players. My thanks to the University of Trinidad and Tobago and all concerning for this opportunity. It is now up to Marcus to take full advantage of the programme and set the standard for others to follow."

Marcus Johnson stated, "I am extremely excited to be able to further my education and to focus on my cricket and studies at the University of Trinidad and Tobago. This is a dream come true for me. I would like to thank Coach (Gus Logie), the BCB and the University for this opportunity."


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