Jamaica’s sporting industry has benefited from excellent performances on the track, field, court and in the ring, likewise the country has had some excellent administrators some of whom have led in the international sphere. As a developing country, the publicity gained from this has had tremendous impact. However with sport playing such a meaningful role in people’s lives, there are assertions that the athletes’ progress and growth are surpassing what administrators can and have been able to lead. Is this true of the Jamaican situation?
The major stakeholders in Jamaica are Government, Private Sector (Sponsors), Sporting Federations, Athletes, Schools & Colleges, Communities, Media and the international bodies.
The Business of Sport has in the last three years raised some valuable questions and have moved towards creating an environment where the stakeholder groups can openly and privately discuss the evolution of sport through a communication platform in a series of workshops and conferences. While the concept seeks to point out the issues, it has also made massive steps in providing solutions which is now urgent.
The Business of Sport has offered solutions for management, marketing, media, education and its role; it has also looked at anti-doping – this has been done by assembling experts in academia, media, branding, and sport planning to name a few areas.
If Jamaica was to copy what a country like Denmark is doing where their equivalent of The Business of Sport has merged with its Institute of Sport seeking “to widen and deepen the search for solutions” that would be a master stroke for sport development. The question is though, is Jamaica serious about sport?
As the country seeks to find its footing through its programmes and policies, here are some key areas which must be managed towards achieving good governance in sport:
- Transparency and public communication
- Democracy must be adhered to at all times
- There must be checks and balances
The country’s drive towards seeing a continuing formula for success must be driven by the demand for good governance, but must be contributed to by the Jamaican community at home and abroad through its contributions. Sporting federations must have clear plans which aims towards a national goal all targeted at competing at the highest level and impacting socially, financially and ethically on people’s lives while creating wealth opportunities for those who make it a career.
There should also be a system in place to evaluate management performances by sporting federations which should in turn help to produce better leaders and reduce the risk of corruption. While doing that there should also be a move towards collecting evidence, data, and calculating return on investment to ensure continuity in programmes.