Mexico have been warned by the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) autonomy tsar Patrick Hickey they could miss Rio 2016 because of Government interference.

Read more: Exclusive: Mexico warned by IOC autonomy tsar they could be suspended from Rio 2016

A new beginning. A brighter future. As T&T celebrates Divali— the festival of lights with the Hindu community—it seems as if it’s a clear sign not mere coincidence that the topic of today’s column offers a ray of hope and light. As sport both locally and internationally continues to face a relentless barrage of sordid headlines—all symptomatic of poor governance.

It’s timely that the focus today is good governance. Why? There is good news. The battle to improve good governance in T&T received a powerful boost last week. Good Sport governance is top of mind internationally, regionally and locally. The T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) hosted last week its first ever “Good Sport Governance” week.  

A series of meetings were held with national sport organisations and sport stakeholders. Professor Leigh Robinson, head of sport studies at the University of Stirling provided expertise in sport governance. Supporting, the TTOC in its ongoing efforts to build leadership and governance capacity, knowledge and skill set is Olympic Solidarity.

A key aspect of the last week’s good sport governance week was the consultation aimed at including sport stakeholders views in the proposed good governance code for sport in T&T initiative that the TTOC is championing.

One of the breakthrough benefits was a heart-to-heart meeting involving the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs, Sport Company of T&T and the Olympic committee. It was the first time such a collective gathering was held and all those present including Professor Robinson expressed profound appreciation for the opportunity to share ideas, concerns and views on governance.

Minister of Sport Darryl Smith must be commended for his enthusiastic support and endorsement. Minister Smith also seized the moment and allowed Professor Robinson to share her candid thoughts while at the same time making it crystal clear that improving governance is one of his priorities. The Ministry of Sport and Sport Company and the TTOC must work together and share resources.

The TTOC hosted a good governance workshop at Olympic House where Minister Smith addressed participants and sat in on the workshop for as long as his busy schedule allowed.

Also meeting with Professor Robinson were members of the TTOC Governance Commission. Members of the commission include Rikhi Rampersad, Brian Frontin, Axel Kravatzky, Jason Juillen and Brigadier General Anthony Phillip Spencer and Jeanne Borneo.

The TTOC have taken decisive steps. The good sport governance code project is combining the efforts and competencies of a broad collective of determination. A group that is resolute that in spite of the obstacles and lipservice that is so prevalent. It is time for sport in T&T to rebrand itself on the pillar of improved governance.

What’s to come? Publication of a best practice good sport governance code for TTOC and non Olympic sporting bodies and their stakeholders. This will include a commitment to regular consitutional review, term limitation, no automatic votes for outgoing executive members, four year term of office among other best practice principles and guidelines.

Publication of template governance structures, processes, and documents that reflect different types of organisations within the T&T sport sector.

Training, education and leadership and governance capacity building support and development mechanisms to help members of the TTOC stay updated with emerging governance best practice that is applicable to their organisations. Let’s not relent. Let’s remain resilient. Sport Matters.


LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The IOC has set a deadline of Oct. 27 for the resolution of a dispute that could lead to Kuwait's suspension from the Olympic body.

International Olympic Committee officials held meetings in Lausanne on Monday with a high-level Kuwaiti delegation to discuss issues involving sports legislation in the Gulf country.

Read more: IOC sets Oct. 27 deadline for resolution of sports law dispute in Kuwait

Developing a new digital strategy to raise the global profile of the sport has been hailed as a key ambition by new World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) secretary general Hoss Rafaty here today, with the new Olympic TV Channel targeted as one potential market.

Officials from the WTF were one of four International Federations who attended an initial meeting to discuss involvement in the Channel.

Precise details of the Channel, confirmed as part of the International Olympic Committee's Agenda 2020 reform process, still have to be confirmed and no date has been given for its launch.

It is being seen as a major opportunity for many Olympic Federations, however, particularly the smaller ones.

Hafaty, the Iranian-born American appointed to his position in May, revealed that the focus for WTF President Chungwon Choue in recent years has been predominantly upon technical matters within the sport, designed to iron out problems with the scoring system and playing area.

With most of these now resolved, the WTF are now targeting becoming more media friendly with the athletes at the centre of the strategy.

Achieving more television deals is one dimension of this and they are also keen to better showcase the sport via social media and other digital platforms, including the WTF's YouTube channel, which is showing live coverage of this weekend's WTF Grand Prix here.

"We need consistent planning to make is relevent and friendly," Rafaty told insidethegames.

"The TV channel is unchartered territory, but we want to be right there next to it."

This was also discussed at a meeting of the WTF TV Commission here yesterday, attended by Rafaty, as well as South Korea’s Yang Jin Bang and France's Roger Piarulli, the respective director generals of the world governing body's offices in Seoul and Lausanne.

They are now considering approaching major distribution and production companies to help develop their product.  

Improving the visual spectacle of a sport is something that has grown in importance as recent years, as Olympic International Federations from across strive to keep their disciplines relevant and fresh.

One of the best examples comes in volleyball, where the International Volleyball Federation have signed an innovative media partnership with Red Bull to broaden their appeal, as well as the range and amount of coverage produced and distributed.

In comparison, taekwondo has focused changing scoring rules to make bouts more exciting, but some other innovative elements have been introduced as part of the WTF Grand Prix series.

This includes the use of music, big screens and a more theatrical presentation based around special sessions for finals.


The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee  (TTOC) plan to develop a good governance code for sport  continues to  make significant progress.
It is confirmed that Good Governance workshops will be hosted by the TTOC during the period 2 -7 November at Olympic House.
Professor Leigh Robinson, Dean  and Head of School ,School of Sport at the University of Stirling will facilitate the workshops in November.
The intention is that the Good Governance Code for Sport will be approved and codified in the TTOC Consitution by April 2016.
As examples  If good governance in sport in Trinidad and Tobago is to improve measures  to ensure(1)  proper use and audit reporting of funds received is a non negotiable obligation , responsibility and duty
(2)  that national sport organisations allow for elections that are democratic and adhere to basic universal principles of good governance
(3) Consitution review and modernisation .
The TTOC will assist member sport organisations in building good governance capacity-training,education, developing template governance documents that will make life easier for sport administrators and national sport organisations and governing bodies.
"Those sport organisations that want to improve their good governance will be assisted.
Its a lot of work but its a responsibility, obligation and duty that the TTOC will not shirk.
A Good Governance Code for Sport is a key priority for the TTOC. "
Meanwhile, the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC) General Assembly is taking place in Paramaribo, Suriname on Sunday 11th November.
The TTOC delegation : Secretary General Annette Knott and Treasurer Earl Wilson. TTOC president Brian Lewis is at the Assembly in his capacity as an elected member of the CANOC Board.