Transforming the Game – The Business of Sport

KINGSTON, May 3 – One of the greatest endorsements you can get from an event is when the participants offer positive feedback. The 4th running of the Business of Sport International just ended in Kingston and from all accounts participants were pleased. 

Collegiate hurdler, Megan Simmonds, tweeted the morning after 

 –  & her team did an excellent job with their business of sport conference. I recommend it to EVERYONE with a career in sport.
it was so informative, career and mind changing that haha i actually wanted it to be longer!! Haha
 
Simmonds is down to compete in the 100 metres hurdles at the Jamaica International Invitational http://trackandfieldja.com/nmcms.php?snippet=news&p=news_item&id=173. Simmonds is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Media and Communications. 
 
The conference was held under the theme – Transform the Game – and the conversations/presentations, reflected same. The two days provided an up close and personal opportunity for athletes and their support team to include teachers, lecturers and sport administrators to field questions and get them answered by the experts. 
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One of the many highlights of the two-day event was the lunch time presentation on day one, presented by Jamaica’s Minister of Education, Hon. Ronald Thwaites who opined that ” there is need for a rebranding exercise for PE and Sport because overtime parents and students had begun to prefer the traditional subjects in the Sciences and Humanities while decrying technical and vocational subjects. The local and international labour markets are pointing to the need for persons to have a good mixture of all the subjects.” The Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, the evening before revealed that over the next two years, the world will have 60 million people who are teenagers and it is the creative industries which include sport that will have to provide a lot more of the job opportunities for them as they pursue tertiary level education.
 
Thwaites went to to say “as the transformation takes place, teachers and guidance councillors need to include sport as a career option to students –not everyone will become a star athlete. However, a star athlete needs a trainer, a physiotherapist, a nutritionist (very essential), a chef, a manager, a marketing agent, a publicist and the list goes on.”
 
Some of the recommendations coming from Day two included – cross fertilization in sport where maybe “the collaborative approach would help, especially in the smaller sports,” according to Sport Administrator, Don Anderson, while Courtney Lodge has put on the table that maybe “it is time we select the best people for the job.” Lodge was suggesting the use of the Balanced Scorecard as a tool, which can be used to “measure and manage”. 
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As the Jamaican industry is all set to evolve and be revolutionized, collegiate officials, Dalton Myers (University of the West Indies – UWI) and Maurice Wilson (GC Foster College of Physical Education and Sport) are recommending that more care should be taken with what children do between ages 11 – 14 and then 15 – 18. One for more enjoyment and the latter, for more organised competition. Both are suggesting that Collegiate Sport can bridge the gap between high school performance and the elite pursuit. 
 
Participants came from Barbados, Bahamas, Cayman Islands, St. Kitts Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago, Namibia, USA, Canada, UK and Jamaica while the online participants were worldwide. The Business of Sport stands committed to continue the dialogue, while aiming to influence the adjustments to facilitate a more enabling environment in Jamaica and the region. 
 
The event is a production of Strategic Corporate Interventions, Samuda and Johnson and Carole Beckford & Associates. 
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