‘Use sports to drive life’ – Cummings
December 14, 2012
‘Use sports to drive life’ – Cummings

Former national athlete Jean Saville Cummings is urging young Vincentian student-athletes to use sports to drive life.{{more}}

Cummings, who holds a doctorate in molecular medicine from the University of Maryland in the United States, said that although he did not make it on to the professional circuit as an athlete, he has made something of himself, using sports as the vehicle.

“My experience has shown that you can use sports to build a profession that is not sports centred…” Cummings, who visited St Vincent recently, told SEARCHLIGHT.

“I am not a professional athlete, but I have benefitted hugely from having sports in my life … You do not know where [sports] might take you … you get a degree, to do something different.”

Cummings, who started his athletics career at the Kingstown Preparatory School, then moved to the St Martin’s Secondary School, where it blossomed. He noted that in accessing an athletics scholarship to the Morgan State University (MSU) in 1998, he was not a top athlete, but gained entry on the strength of his academics.

He did so after spending one year at the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College.

“One of the advantages I had at the time, was that I had a really good record at CXC, so it was easier to get me there,” Cummings said.

Cummings passed 10 subjects at the 1997 sitting of the Caribbean Examination Council.

He has represented SVG at the CAC age group championships, Junior Carifta Games, the Whitsuntide Games, the NACAC championships, CAC Senior Games, the Commonwealth Games, and the Pan American Games.

Cummings spent four years at MSU, where he won Middle Eastern Athletic Conference titles in his pet event — the long jump.

He also won gold at the famous Penn Relays and at the IC4A championships.

Cummings has copped the National Division One Championships in the United States, winning the Team All-America award during the 2001 indoor season and for four consecutive years at MSU Cummings was able to pouch three consecutive Athlete of the Year titles.

Cumming was on the Dean’s List of Excellence for eight consecutive semesters and in 2002 graduated with highest honours.

From his current observations, Cummings thinks compared with his days as an athlete, there are more persons getting involved in sports here in SVG.

“… I am happy to see this, but I hope they have the right division, but division to put together not just sports, but the academics which can take them further than they expect,” Cummings noted.

Cummings completed his doctorate in 2008, and focussed special attention on the impact of HIV infection on a particular class of T-cells. (RT)