Sean Paul Henriques was born in Kingston, Jamaica, to parents Garth and Frances on 9 January 1973. His mother is a painter. His paternal grandfather was of Portuguese Jewish descent, hence his Portuguese last name of Henriques; his father is of Portuguese and Indo-Jamaican descent. his paternal grandmother was Afro-Jamaican; his mother is of English and Chinese-Jamaican descent. Sean Paul was raised as a Catholic. Many members of his family are swimmers. His grandfather was on the first Jamaican men's national water polo team.  His father also played water polo for the team in the 1960s, and competed in long-distance swimming, while Paul's mother was a butterfly swimmer. Paul played for the national water polo team from the age of 13 to 21, when he gave up the sport in order to launch his musical career.  He attended Wolmer's Boys' School and the College of Arts, Science, and Technology, now known as the University of Technology, where he was trained in commerce with an aim of pursuing an occupation in swimming.