Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 9th 2015 Contents A56
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For the sake of
sports, let us hope
that the new Min-
ister of Sport, Brent
Sancho, is the last
until the general
election is held.
Instability at the
helm or perception of
instability does not
instill confidence in
the private sector who
will be called upon to
provide funding where
the state cannot provide.
Sancho is the third Minister of Sport and second since
the resignation of Anil Roberts, on July 31, 2014.
The change in leadership at the Ministry of Sport has
not received the same kind of critical analysis as those
of the Attorney General and National Security.
However, it is important to recognise that approximately
$2.3 billion dollars have been budgeted for sport 2011-
15 (see various Appropriation Acts 2011-15, www.ttpar-
The amount of monies allocated to sport demands
greater scrutiny of the functions and operations of the
Ministry. This inquiry should be twofold: firstly to ensure
that goals and objectives of the Ministry are met and
secondly to ensure a positive return on the expenditure
of taxpayers monies.
The assessment of the Ministry can only be undertaken
if there are clearly defined policies, objectives and goals.
These must be subjected to rigorous monitoring and eval-
uation conducted by independent bodies such as the
UWI. For example, the research of the Mona School of
Business and Management (MSBM), UWI to assess the
financial impact of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL)
on the Caribbean in 2013 and 2014. The Ministry s website
and-direction), states that its Strategic Intent and Direc-
tion is based on four strategic themes:
1. Sport for All/Total Participation in Sport where there
is a society in which the majority of citizens are partic-
ipating in sport.
2. High Performance Sport where athlete medal count
is continuously increasing.
3. Sport as an Industry where:
(a) New sport businesses are established and operation
(b) Sport tourism is making significant contributions
4. Improve the overall efficiently and efficacy of the
Ministry through the use of ICT to increase efficiency
to all stakeholders.
Based on the aforementioned strategic themes the fol-
lowing information should be available:
1. In terms of Sports for All which falls under the theme
of Sports Development-
• What robustly collected research data has been col-
lected on participation in sport and physical activities?
How many people in Trinidad and Tobago are physically
active and this information should be based on geographical
location, age, gender, ethnicity, religion, disabilities, social
class and working people? This type of data is what drives
sports for all programmes in countries such as England,
Canada, and New Zealand.
• What percentage of the National Sport Policy 2002
have been implemented? What percentage of the various
programmes such as Women and Girls in Sport
Taking Sport to Rural Areas have been implemented
and how much continuity is taking place?
• How data is linked to addressing issues of growing
non-communicable diseases such as heart attacks, diabetes
especially Type II and growing cases of obesity among
the population 15-64 years.
• How is the Sports for All programme linked to the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as have been
done in countries such as Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique
and Papua New Guinea? (http://www.un.org/millenni-
• What is the total expenditure on Sports for All?
2. In relation to High Performance Sport:
• What are the resources (financial, human resources-
coaches, trainers, medical-infrastructure, etc.) available
to assist athletes?
• What is the total expenditure on High Per-
3. With respect to Sport as an Industry:
• What new sport businesses have been estab-
lished or are in the pipeline?
• What is the status of the Sport Tourism
• What programmes are to be rolled out to
promote sport tourism?
• What have and are the projected benefits
of sport tourism to the GDP?
• In what way are the new sporting facilities
(swimming, cycling and tennis) are incorpo-
rated into the sport tourism policy and imple-
4. Increase use of ICT to increase efficiency:
• What have been the improvements through
the use of ICT?
• What is the status of professional develop-
ment of sporting bodies under the Ministry and
what measures are in place to ensure that national
governing bodies comply with the requisites of
• What has been the costs of these ICT
It will be foolhardy to expect Minister Sancho
to make any significant impact on all four of the
Ministry s strategic themes given his short time-
frame to work with.
He is caught between a rock and a hard place.
The newness of the job, the power he wields
and the desire to stamp his leadership style may
result in goals and objectives which are practical
for medium to long term development of sports
and sports development.
However, in the short run they may be ide-
alistically ambitious although he may not think
so and understandably so to some extent. The
questions raised are for all vested interest - Min-
istry of Sport, the public, sponsors, media etc.
The objective is to continuously seek to critically
improve on the delivery of sporting services both
in terms of quality and the efficiency of taxpayers
Critical role for Minister Sancho
Sport Minister Brent Sancho, centre back row, and Gymnastics
Association president Ricardo Lue Shue participate in a group
photo with awardees at the Association's 5th awards
presentation on Saturday at the International School.
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