USE SPORTING VENUES AS LEARNING TOOLS

The Caribbean’s sport industry is growing. The Caribbean’s sport industry has a massive potential to contribute higher percentages to gross domestic product (GDP). Studies have shown that countries in the region that do recognise sport as an industry, contributes somewhere between three to 11 per cent per year. 

Jamaica. Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago are three islands which have top-class athletes, top-level professionals and a bunch of venues which have world-class venues to host international events. 

Most of these islands too have established physical education and sport programmes which have venue management as one of the highlighted areas of the course of study. So often we hear about venue preparation, venue management and care. 

The recently concluded Limacol Caribbean Premier League (LCPL); while being hailed a marketing success has drawn comments from technical experts about the pitches. There were comments suggesting that the pitches could have been better prepared which would facilitate better performances. West Indies, Head Coach, Ottis Gibson’s comments are clear here http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130828/sports/sports1.html

This situation is also true for football fields across the region. In a year when teams are preparing for World Cup qualification there is an urgent need then to have suitable pitches to enhance the performance of the athletes. 

The sport industry can therefore benefit from the tertiary institutions which already have sport in their curriculum and help to prepare the next set of venue managers to include those who prepare pitches as part of a learning experience. 

Also, there are associations worldwide where venue managers can attend conferences, share ideas, share strategies along with sharing how they use technology as a tool for improvement.  

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The International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) is based in Texas and has a host of activities http://www.iaee.com/about/ The association has been around since 1928 and is a great near shore option. 

Since the Caribbean therefore is so heavily dependent on sport, entertainment and other cultural events – well prepared venues, pitches and safe venues are key to that formula; the colleges should partners with other institutions to make this happen in a more serious way. 

The sport industry needs those skills and expertise along with the prevalent technical preparation, management, communication, health and nutrition skills set already available. 

Here is another opportunity for the region to unite. 

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