Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 9th 2014 Contents Storm clouds, dark and ominous
have enveloped the economic land-
scape. The price of oil is falling and
with it optimism and high hopes.
Finance and Economy Minister
Larry Howai last week in a statement
to the House of Representatives
announced that ministries will be
ordered to review spending in light
of an oil price beneath that budgeted.
"Ministries will therefore be
required to review their budgets to
determine areas where expenditure
can be suppressed," Howai said.
"The ministry will continue to
monitor what is happening in the
global environment and to refine our
remedial fiscal measures to ensure
that the country can respond appro-
priately to changes in the market for
oil and gas."
National sport organisations in
T&T are impacted by the economy.
Any reduction in revenue must be
of concern to national sport organ-
The Finance Minister indicated
that all ministries must immediately
reduce their expense by 45 million
dollars each. He also indicated that
further adjustments may be neces-
sary as the situation continues.
National sport organisations must
have conversations with their mem-
bership to prepare for the volatility
that can be expected in light of the
From a strategic management per-
spective, not many national sport
organisations would have made
allowances for the threat posed by
falling oil prices.
In fact most national sport organ-
isations have indicated that they
were already faced with significant
cuts based on what they had bud-
geted and submitted.
Sport administrators have sug-
gested that they will have to take
drastic measures in respect of their
plans and programmes.
The next 12 months are critical in
the context of Rio 2016 Olympics.
Any drastic curtailing of pro-
grammes and plans to properly pre-
pare this country s elite and high
performance athletes and national
teams will prove detrimental and
may well put an end to any realistic
chances of qualifying for Rio 2016
and for those who do qualify, hamper
hopes of winning a coveted medal.
Uncertainty for national sport
organisations and athletes can prove
distracting but it need not derail
efforts to achieve podium targets.
Overcoming the financial chal-
lenges will not be easy but remaining
positive and determined is the per-
Falling oil prices highlight the
downside of the dependency on oil
and gas as the main pillar of the
Sport presents a number of oppor-
tunities and regardless of the price
of oil, life will go on.
National sport organisations that
are able to forge the appropriate
strategic response will cope with the
The main concern will be for our
athletes. It will be the responsibility
of the sport administrators to negate
The importance of a well-struc-
tured resource allocation process
becomes a critical success factor.
How will national sport organisations
invest resources? How will national
sport organisations evaluate if its
resource allocation is effective?
Falling oil prices and austerity
measures need not be detrimental
to national sport organisations and
athletes. In fact it may well turn
out to be a positive turning point
for resource allocation within the
T&T sport ecosystem.
In a very real sense falling oil prices
and the adverse impact on the econ-
omy while troubling, presents the
opportunity for national sport organ-
isations to become more strategic.
• Brian Lewis is president of the
T&T Olympic Committee. The views
expressed are not necessarily those
of the Olympic Committee.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
THINGS THAT MATTER
Falling oil prices and rising sport expectations
IOC President Thomas Bach delivers a speech at the start of the 127th
International Olympic Committee session in Monaco, yesterday. The IOC
has approved plans for a more flexible sports program, a move that could
lead to the inclusion of baseball and softball at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The International Olympic Committee voted in favour of the revised system
on the opening morning of a special two-day session to adopt President
Thomas Bach's 40-point Olympic Agenda 2020 reform package. AP PHOTO
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