July 1 – With the guard changing on and off the field of play for athletes and administrators in Jamaica; there is a glorious now opportunity to modernize and look at new and innovative ways to manage sport in Jamaica.
Also, maybe it is time we look away from volunteerism at some levels and pay those with the expertise to run sport in a way that is professional. What is expected from sport in terms of results is not sustainable if at all levels, experts aren’t paid for their services.
That said, the industry now has to place sharp focus on prioritizing its assets and point itself towards achieving the best return on investment and by extension, while meeting the other aims of:
- creating the best environment for athletes to perform at a maximum
- consolidating the technical expertise to ensure all athletes benefit from the best
- focus on care – pre, during and post
- partnerships that will offer the athletes income that is on par with what is happening globally
- partnering with academic institutions to provide the research necessary to prepare for the next generation
- providing and upgrading facilities for athletes
- fan engagement for events
- being considered a more serious seat at the table of the Tourism product.
We are way ahead of just the feel good moments which we get when our teams/athletes win; but those of us in the know should look at the more knowledge-based approach to offer solutions for the athletes, management and eventually the country to benefit from earnings from events; an industry that employs people and one that also balances people’s lives.
We cannot be satisfied with what we have now. When we look at what athletes, brands and media rights contribute to an overall pot, it must be disheartening to see that as an island, Jamaica has the talent, technical expertise and business expertise to have a sporting industry that is making a greater contribution to its GDP.
We all know the sport we should do well at to attract the big bucks, but as it is a diverse sector, we depend on those that is of great networking value, attracts the biggest crowds, has the greatest social appeal; we therefore should combine these for a successful model.
As the organizations meet in the upcoming months, a Think Tank must be a priority to look at a strategic plan for the next five to ten years for sport. My only request, is leave the politicians out of the mix. Following the strategic plan completion, we then put the cards on the table; show them the figures and negotiate waivers, support and legislation which will help to grow the industry.
Let’s Stay in the Game!