Sport is a business and like any viable business, there has to be a plan that sustains the business.
A maxim that was articulated by president of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), Christopher Samuda, in the featured address he delivered at the partnership investiture between the Jamaica Lacrosse Association and the G C Foster College of Physical Education and Sport and also in a post-event interview.
In lauding the partnership, Samuda exhorted the parties to become “influencers and instrumental in the creation of a national strategic and business sport plan and its activation” and in so doing he identified elements of this plan.
The JOA boss stated that the plan should “be parish-based with each parish having an infrastructure which includes a business model that constructs and privatises management of public multi-sport, accessible and internationally certified complexes and facilities which are driven by commercial and revenue strategies”.
In emphasising the importance of training and education, Samuda stated that the success of any national plan demands the establishment of a structured network of “education hubs, such as sport colleges and faculties, that integrates their vision and work into a unified national education strategy designed to graduate sport specific technical and business skills and competencies in building capacity for the birth of a sport industry which must be the ultimate goal”.
The call for greater efforts in creating a sport industry continues to be made by Samuda, who maintains that essential to the construct of one is “a national database of bankable skills from which talent can be deployed to multi-sport complexes and education and sport hubs in strengthening the infrastructure of sport”.
If Jamaica is to produce a continuous flow of accomplished athletes, coaches and administrators, then the JOA boss argues that “critical to the attainment of that goal is the establishment of a national academy type youth programme, linked particularly to the curricula of secondary and tertiary institutions of learning, which provides customised training and education for prospective athletes, coaches, managers, marketers and financiers all of whom are critical players of a local sport industry”.
However, he stated that “objectives and goals, particularly in creating a sport industry that is an employment reservoir and GDP (gross domestic product) earner will be frustrated if viable business models are not in place, talent is not technically incubated from the ‘womb’ and the wrong people are in the right jobs”.
The JOA will this year be rolling out to its members under the style and name “OlympicBoutique” professional services including law, corporate governance, finance, accounting, investment, strategic management, HR development and brand management.