It is a fact that within the last two decades sport has experienced exponential commercial and economic growth. It’s a global business with significant impact on societies and economies world wide.
The impact has been positive. High profile controversies and instances of corruption and doping are a reflection of the changing environment of sport. There is no turning back. Those sport stakeholders that refuse to adapt and get up to speed with the modern realities will increasing find themselves in over their heads.
As great as the challenges may be, it is an exciting time to be involved in sport. Those who aren't intimidated by the challenges will certainly be in the vanguard of change—pioneers and a pioneering spirit is what is needed. The attitude has to be we are starting from scratch.
I know that declaration may make little or no sense to those who sincerely believe that we have a well defined sport system and structure. To my mind its a moot point. If we did have one it is no longer working or fit for purpose.
Do we fix, renovate or remodel. There will be those who will champion an incremental approach —let’s be cautious. We dont want to dump the baby with the bath water.
Will that approach bring about the required change?
I don't think so. This is a whole new ball game
Playing catch up will not suffice.
This is Trinidad and Tobago sport tear down the wall moment.
Its now or never. This is the time. This is the moment.
Change. Reform. Paradigm Changing. Disruption.
What ever! Just do it.
We need a sense of urgency. Not panic or ill considered haste.
What is called for is a decisive strike that is well thought out.
Sport in T&T can no longer wait in the wings.
Time is not running out. It has run out.
Those who are up to the task will shape the future of sport in a hugely transformational way that will have profound impact. Today there are two events that the TTOC will be involved with either as a host or as a participant. One—Is a Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) workshop conducted by the one of the creators of LTAD, the legendary Istvan Bayli
Anyone who has any interest in LTAD will want to interact with Istvan. Today the session is at Olympic House 121 Abrecromby Street Port-of-Spain. The other event today is the first Pan American Sport Organisation (PASO) Continental Athlete Forum in Miami.
The welfare of athletes and meeting their service expectations is a priority for the TTOC. Setting up an athlete commission that allows athletes a voice in the Governance of the TTOC is an abiding goal of mine. It has been long talked about. It is time to give athletes a voice within the TTOC corridors of power.
George Bovell, Cleopatra Borel and TTOC project officer athlete services and programmes Rheeza Grant will represent the TTOC at this important forum. The forum begins today and ends tomorrow.
Brian Lewis is president of the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC). The views expressed are not necessarily those of the Olympic Committee. Support #10 Golds24 Athlete Welfare and Preparation Fund.