Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 30th 2013 Contents A70
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Success is overcoming a challenge: The bigger
the problem, the bigger the opportunity.
Local sport must develop a "can do" attitude that
sees difficulties and problems as opportunities. When-
ever the key issues facing sport in T&T are discussed,
for some people the cure-all answer is simple---money.
It s not about ideas and structure that can deliver
sustainable solutions and revenue streams. It s never
about how national sport organisations (NSO) can
achieve more. Or, how do we encourage more women
and girls to participate in sport?
It s not about finding creative solutions to the chal-
lenges or about improving good governance, trans-
parency and accountability. The solution is more
Sport has powerful emotional and mental benefits.
How can we harness these benefits and create value?
How can we
ples and values
of sport? How
do we promote
spirit in a way
that the mod-
will listen and accept in consideration of the problems
facing sport? The process we use to define and frame
the problem is important.
What is the nature of the problem, its causes and
the elements involved in the problem? Are NSO build-
ing foundations for its brand and associating its brand
with its core values?
NSOs must develop its brand equity. Managing a
brand is a critical issue for any NSO.
Do NSOs understand and appreciate that their
brand is what creates sponsorship and revenue oppor-
The emphasis and focus on money without placing
all aspects of problem formulation and the problem
statement in its proper context will continue to cause
corruption and unethical behaviour to thrive seems
to evade many. What is the basis of evaluation?
Is lack of money the illness or the symptom?
There is a tendency for subjective rationality and
rationalisation along with implicit favouritism when
money is discussed.
Money then becomes the discriminatory pass word
for entry. The perception that there is a scarcity of
money then becomes the determining factor. What
gets lost in the discussion is the fact that money is
the means to an end not the end itself. That wealth
is created as a result of ideas, knowledge, imagination
and creativity gets lost in the shuffle.
As I have stated in previous columns, T&T doesn t
have a money problem. Our problems are that of a
lack of creativity, vision, ethical conduct and self-
You can easily get the answer you want to hear by
asking the wrong question. There is an abundance
of opportunity for NSOs to make significant progress.
How? By focusing, not on the scarcity of money,
but on wealth creation.
It requires a paradigm shift and a willingness to
accept the challenge and complexity of resolving two
different concepts: amateur and professional sport.
The Olympic games were once strictly for amateur
athletes. In 1988, professional tennis players appeared
at the Olympic games, and four years later the Amer-
ican basketball Dream Team of NBA stars won the
coveted gold medal.
The history of modern sports is an evolution from
games played primarily for entertainment and leisure
to an industry.
Foundation, self-sustainability key to NSOs' success
THINGS THAT MATTER
Sports over the last hundred years have
reflected changing social attitudes and stan-
dards. Local sport can transform and thrive
with a marketing approach that incorporates
the history, social and cultural dimensions
that are specific to sport. It s far better to
establish a solid, congruent and coherent
foundation, infrastructure, systems and poli-
cies first. In other words we need to establish
a sustainable sport eco-system.
Risk management and rigorous checks
and balances must be foundation stones.
NSOs have to generate wealth through the
exchange of new ideas, products, quality
services and solutions and effective problem
solving. Accept no limit. It s time for a par-
adigm and culture shift. Money is not a bar-
rier or obstacle.
God Bless. Have a creative and blessed
Brian Lewis is the honorary secretary gen-
eral of the T&T Olympic Committee http/;
http://www.ttoc.org/. The views expressed
are not necessarily those of the TTOC.
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