Nassau, THE Bahamas – A crescendo of pride and excitement, a special song that paid homage to their international achievement and framed UB Mingoes jerseys were the visible signs of gratitude on Thursday 6th February as University of The Bahamas (UB) honoured Ken Mullings Jr. and Kendrick Thompson, ranked in the top three in the world in the Heptathlon.
Mullings and Thompson were honoured during a ceremony held on Independence Park at UB’s Oakes Field Campus and were treated to other post-ceremony celebrations which included cake cutting and photo taking with members of the UB community.
The two made history at the Gene Edmonds Memorial Invitational held at Purdue University, January 9-10, 2020, when Mullings placed first in the heptathlon, a feat which also set a new national record. Thompson finished second in that event. As a result, Mullings is ranked number 2 and Thompson is ranked number 3 globally.
As much as the honours came from a grateful University and nation, they were also in celebration of UB student excellence. Both of the student-athletes are Education majors with roots outside of New Providence. Mullings spent his early years in Turks and Caicos and Grand Bahama and Thompson is an Andros native.
“We are elated to be a part of a game changing moment,” said Drumeco Archer, President of the Bahamas Association of Athletics Associations during the ceremony. “As a learning institution and as a country we are positioned on the world stage.”
Mr. Archer extended a profound thank you on behalf of a grateful nation.
Delivering remarks on behalf of the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Olympian Pauline Davis-Thompson commended the two young athletes for their dedication and tenacity.
“Thank you for the pride that you both have brought to our UB. You are shining examples of what discipline, determination, desire and dedication can do for us as a nation,” she said as the crowd cheered.
Ken and Kendrick stood on stage beaming with pride.
Vice President of Administrative Services at UB, under whose portfolio University Athletics falls, Dr. Marcella Elliott-Ferguson delivered remarks on behalf of UB President Dr. Rodney D. Smith. She commended them for balancing rigorous academic demands and grueling training schedules.
“We know they both aspire to achieve the ultimate goal in athletics, to be called Olympians. With Tokyo 2020 in their sights, they are pushing to meet the qualifying standard and we stand 100 percent behind them, supporting them, ensuring that with UB’s assistance they have the best chance to do just that,” she noted.
Among the tokens of appreciation that UB gave to the athletes were framed UB Mingoes jerseys, a first for the University, and a song which pays tribute to the student-athletes’ stellar achievements written and produced by the popular artist Solo-Made. Aliv also presented vouchers for new cell phone for the two athletes.