Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 29th 2013 Contents A63
Tuesday, October 29, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
One of the major reasons com-
petent, talented and skilled people
who can make a positive difference
refuse to volunteer as sport leaders
is their perception of unnecessary
contention, confusion and unfair
Why fear criticism? Why do so
many people allow themselves to be
traumatised by criticism? Criticism
is nothing more than a request for
feedback. No meaningful objective
can be attained without criticism---
just as failure is necessary to achieve
sustainable success so too is criticism
a necessity. There is constructive
criticism that is intended to foster
improvement. Then there is destruc-
tive or malicious criticism that has
no positive intention. Whichever
way it s intended.
Not everyone will agree with a
position that a leader will take and
that s fair enough. Not every idea or
method that a leader may adopt is
correct or sensible.
Even if no sincere effort is made
to ascertain the correct information,
no criticism should be wasted as every
criticism presents an opportunity.
Every leader should fall in love with
criticism and listen more to criticism
than they listen to compliments. Crit-
icism should be welcomed and
embraced---some people don t have
the courage or they may be intro-
verted and therefore will not pick up
the phone, e-mail or call you directly
to ask questions. Instead they hide
their desire for feedback in the form
of gossip, misinformation or hearsay.
Regardless of the form or fashion,
it s an individual s right to their opin-
ion or to ask a question how and in
the manner they see fit. As difficult
as it may be, the best course of action
for any one in a leadership position
is not to take criticism personal.
Always remember a criticism is
someone s opinion and not neces-
sarily a statement of fact.
It is unrealistic to expect that every
single person will agree or support
a point of view, decision or objective
a leader may articulate.
There are many views and opin-
ions in T&T about sports, the state
of sports and how best to move sport
forward. There are different percep-
tions, perspectives and expectations.
As an individual a leader will have
his/her own style and approach to
addressing different issues and their
own unique way of communicating.
As much as buy in from all stake-
holders is an ideal, don t expect or
anticipate that everyone will be in
agreement. What is important is that
the grassroots structure---clubs
should be at the centre of sport
development. Without a strong club
infrastructure it will be near impos-
sible for the various sports to sus-
tainably develop. It s important there-
fore for national sport organisations
to pay serious attention to the needs
and concerns of their clubs.
Regardless of the opposing points
of view the challenge for national
sport organisations is to strike a bal-
ance between sustainably developing
their grassroots infrastructure---their
clubs, while at the same time sup-
porting their elite level and high per-
formance aspirations. There are no
easy answers or choices and as such
no decision will enjoy universal
acclamation. Integrity in sport, hon-
esty, accountability, fairness, trans-
parency, good governance and ethical
conduct should be non-negotiable.
No leader should be afraid to be
called to account on the non-nego-
tiable elements even if the call is
disguised as harsh, unfair or destruc-
Clarity of thought, focus and pur-
pose provide the best response to
the request for feedback disguised
as criticism. Fear of criticism there-
fore should not be an obstacle or
barrier to avoid making a decision
or holding oneself publicly account-
able. My advice to any leader is wel-
come, embrace, enjoy, love and treas-
Sport is an emotional experience,
sport enthusiasts, fans and partic-
ipants are passionate. They have
strong views and feelings and opin-
ions. Be thankful. God bless. Let go
let go Let God.
Brian Lewis is the president of
the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Com-
mittee. The views expressed are not
necessarily those of the TTOC. For
more information about the Olympic
movement visit www.ttoc.org.
Leaders must never fear criticism
THINGS THAT MATTER
Queen s Park Judo Club (QPJC) had a suc-
cessful outing at the club s third Judo Challenge
on Saturday at Dunross Prep School, West-
moorings, coming away with three gold
The QPJC trio of Arianna McClean (Under-
10 Infantile A Mixed Gender), Dylan Brito (Juve-
nile-B Male U-16) and Adrian Aquan (Senior
Male Open) all won their respective categories.
Forty-six of T&T s top judo competitors, rep-
resenting ten teams from north and south of
the island gathered at the school to test their
skills at one of this country s most exciting
events on the local judo circuit.
There has been a recent resurgence of judo
in 2013 with participation in the sport growing
in clubs and primary and secondary schools.
An indication of this trend was the participation
of St Augustine Girls High School and the St
James Police Youth Club.
Both clubs are relatively new to judo and
competed for the first time in a judo contest,
while giving a good account of themselves with
their more experienced counterparts.
Rochelle Bally of SAGS, performed admirably,
finishing third along with Thalia Thomas of
Holy Name Convent in the Junior Female U-
20 category. Exciting judo came from children
in the Infantile Male category where Giovanni
Lopez of Holistic Primary School took gold,
using his favourite leg throws to win the highest
attended category of the afternoon, with 11 par-
Other notable performances came from
national players Alysha De Silva of St. Joseph s
Convent POS (Junior Female up to 52kgs) and
Latesha Gill of Claxton Bay s Club Judo Ink
(Senior Female Open), both of whom won gold
in their respective categories.
New national player, Tevon Dewer of Mara-
bella s Southern Academy of Martial Arts came
out on top of a competitive field to win the
Senior Male Lightweight Division.
QP Judo Club
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