Student Sporting Insight #02
Lamar Sinclair is a recent UK university graduate who competed within the UK university sport system during his time in England.
Alongside earning his bachelor’s degree in Sport and Exercise Science, Lamar excelled on the field, showcasing his talents with his UK university rugby team.
After recently graduating from Oxford Brookes University (OBU), we spoke with Lamar to ask about his experience as a student-athlete in the UK.
Student Participant: Lamar Sinclair
Nationality: English and Jamaican
Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Degree: BSc Sports Coaching and Physical Education
What was your process when applying for university and did playing rugby at the university level influence your decision?
“When applying for university my main priority was finding a university where sports coaching was at a high standard.
I was looking to join a rugby program where I would not just become a number. In particular, a team where during my time at university we could be promoted in a couple of years and progress to more competitive leagues of university rugby.”
During your time in the UK, how did you find balancing your studies with playing and coaching rugby?
“Balancing rugby and my studies worked hand in hand for me. I had time to focus on my studies in Sports Coaching & Physical Education, play regularly in the first team, and experience coaching for the first time with the university’s fourth team.
Rugby was time to escape from assignments and have some fun. Coaching within the rugby club helped me as I had a performance environment to take what I learned in the classroom directly into practice.
Playing in a successful team in Oxford Brookes where we only lost once while competing in the league was a fantastic experience as it created a really positive environment at the club.”
Above: Lamar representing Oxford Brookes University.
You were recently called up for the Jamaica squad for a match against Gibraltar, can you describe the feeling of representing your country?
“It was an amazing experience to represent my country after going out to Jamaica and coaching the u19. I didn’t understand how big rugby was in Jamaica. The Jamaican-born players within the team were living their childhood dreams and it allowed me to value the opportunity.”
Above: In November 2022, Lamar represented the Jamaican National Team for the first time in a match against Gibraltar.
As part of the Jamaican Rugby coaching staff, how did your degree from OBU help you achieve this role?
“I have been Assistant Coach of the Jamaican Rugby team since July. Sports coaching at Oxford Brooke’s allowed me to learn so much, not only how to become a good coach but also how to create a positive environment for the squad.
The results from the last tournament show how far the boys have come.”
Above: Lamar with the Jamaican Rugby Coaching Team.
Do you think more young athletes in Jamaica could benefit from combining their sporting careers with their education in the UK?
“I definitely believe young student-athletes will benefit from your free service and the information on playing university sport in the UK. Studying abroad is so limited in Jamaica and the young athletes that I met would thrive off the opportunities in the UK.”
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