The gap in the national football programme with a strong possibility of not reach reaching World Cup 2014 is highlighting some of the issues with the National Sport Plan for Jamaica. Football is the most popular sport in the world and is one of Jamaica’s core sport with the biggest community. How then can football be managed to attract better returns on the investment so that the other sport benefits from sporting funds.
I say Knowledge Sharing is the way to go. Let’s get the tertiary-level institutions together on one platform to
- develop courses to enhance the current sport product
- identify areas of expertise available
- conduct the research necessary to speak to the trends in international market and how Jamaica fits in
- profile Jamaica’s sport – what it is, what works, what won’t and how can it grow
- create a workable economic model
- train the jobs/positions to support the industry
My experience tells me that academic institutions are key to that kind of development and should be mandated to do so; Sport can potentially be one of Jamaica’s biggest industries and deserves the focus on developing the personnel to manage and lead it.
What bothers me though is we are waiting on an outsider to tell us the real value then we all jump on board…
Here are some suggestions to get the leadership/management of sporting federations up to speed (no pun intended):
- Rationalise the Institute of Sport, Sports Development Agency into a super agency
- In the management team there should be a Marketing, Planning, Economic, Research, Venue, Legal and IT expert each…complement with staff
- Remove the “S” from CHASE
- All sport leaders should have 25 hours (additional) sport management training per year
- All sport executives (President, General Secretary and Treasurer) should meet once a quarter to share ideas
- Create a National Sport Calendar
- JAMPRO and JTB should decide where Sport should reside
- Employ a Sport Czar
- Build a database of experts so referral is possible
Jamaica is small and unless we employ Knowledge Sharing as part of the overall plan to improve and enhance sport, then we are not serious about its growth.Maybe we should be really harsh and realistic and separate Sport in the following categories:
- Core sport – high achievers
- Network sport – those that attract big bucks for media rights
- Targeted sport – individual athletes who can achieve at the highest level
- Sport for all – low cost mass participation – recreation, fitness
@Keeping Jamaica’s Sport on Track, June 2007
The success of Jamaica’s sport industry is measured by each sport reaching its highest level of competition, World Championship, Olympics and all other world events; while being able to identify the return on the investment and the money earned to create wealth which leads to people living a better life.
The sport we choose must be based on success, value, impact and health. While we are preparing that plan, let us share with each other in this small space – Jamaica, only 144 miles at its widest.
Lets’ get in the game!