KINGSTON, May 13 – So many cases of governance in sport have arisen over the last ten years and with regularity. There has been more scandals in sport in the last couple of years than we even care to remember. Although the sporting federations continue to earn millions of dollars and spread even wider the public trust in the leaders of the sport has taken a beating. The conference schedules for Sport Management have had way too many discussions on corruption matters and have even attracted the attention of international governing bodies and even political leaders.
The awareness is high, I believe and there is more evidence of even journalists chiming in on the corruption, doping, match fixing and related matters; the question is, is the integrity of sport being questioned. Recently New Zealand passed legislation to make match fixing a criminal offence. They did so by amending its Crime Act of 1961 http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/story/742233.html
New Zealand sport and recreation minister Murray McCully noted that “New Zealand is not immune to the international risks of match-fixing, and we are taking pre-emptive steps to protect our well-deserved reputation for playing fair and the integrity of New Zealand sport,”
The Caribbean region has come up short with that type of legislation and efforts are now being made to fix that through, an initiative lead by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). The process of collaboration will be revealed soon.
The issue of governance takes on a different meaning depending on the region of the world you are in, but the issue of doping, match fixing and even scandals are common anywhere. From an athlete accepting an inappropriate gift to being caught with performance enhancing steroids, those are matters which directly affect the integrity of any sport and by extension its management and leadership.
The solution of collaborative governance is worth exploring as a way to minimize some of those matters as regions attempt to sanitize its own administrations. The common model looks at separate organizations with its own leadership structure focused on its own achievements; however the marketing, legal and financial needs are all similar, specifically with minor sports and maybe the time has come to consider collaborative governance.
Research would and should form a key component to identify the needs of each sporting federation through its human resources and then address the common needs. Like in big companies some common services are outsourced, maybe those common needs could be addressed in one unit external to the federations, but based on its needs.
Football, cricket, track and field are so far the major sports in the Caribbean and the others are minor based on the purpose of this article. Therefore the research should bear that in mind.
This is open to a number of discussions that must begin to take place if the sport industry (worth billions) is to become a real potential for Caribbean athletes and their support teams.
Let’s get in the game!