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Offline Socapro

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Destructive moments in our sport
« on: August 24, 2013, 03:38:57 AM »
Destructive moments in our sport
T&T Guardian Reports
Published: Saturday, August 24, 2013

I have learnt that the best way to view important issues is to take a few steps back and look analytically from a distance. The picture becomes brighter and more impacting. My reason for spending two weeks in London was nothing more than enjoying a vacation without any attachments to specific sporting events where I would normally be assigned to by Fifa. I was even prepared to ignore the abysmal performances by the Red Steel, without feeling any kind of stress, not even when I heard the news of our two athletes testing positive for some type of illegal drugs. I became immune to reading negatives about our sport and was hardly ever surprised over unusual things which occur in our country.

But the news of three youth national squads defaulting their participation in what are considered yardsticks for development, immediately my mind raced through the hearts of the hundreds of young athletes, whether they be track and field, football or hockey players to determine the magnitude of the opportunity which was lost in their lives at such a young age. Trying to explain who is right and who is wrong is irrelevant, except as a signal to the people of this country that sport lies beneath the level of what it had ever been. In the first place, let me exclaim that the recognition of square pegs in wrong holes in the area of sports management in this country must not only be frowned at but in our own small way, the powers that be should be questioned as to why they have not realised the great damage they have done to our sport. Having said that, the issue opens a door which should have been done many years ago, but no one dared to stand up for the right of citizens when the topic did not affect their pockets or their families.

Whoever said that sport was the main responsibility of a government and funds should run merrily from the treasury into the accounts of national associations for use (arbitrary or otherwise).
 It is not fair for anyone to accuse the Government in isolation for incidents like these, mainly because each sport has a private authority to market itself, develop its youth programmes and invest wisely into activity which appears to be stepping stones towards the future. Initially, the foundation called the Sports Company of T&T (SporTT), was specifically designed to be the frontrunner for the Government’s input in organised sport. They should have had the duties to communicate regularly with all national associations, demand audited statements and critique their annual calendars which are accompanied by accurate budgets. SporTT must then present to the ministry for the allocated annual funds granted to sport in the country, and after getting the figure, return to each projected expenditure statement with funds which will subsidise the programmes.

Of course, a few experts in sports management in SporTT will adequately scrutinise and disburse funds in proportion to the activity which are planned for the year. Whatever funds are made available must be accompanied by the watchful eyes of officers from the company in the Government’s interest, and national associations must understand that they must strengthen their marketing prowess, and vigorously approach the business sector, all of whom have been given tax rebates by the Government, so long as they invested money in sporting associations.
 The Government is not a bank and their spending must be done methodically and without any form of bias as to one sport or another. Now! Let us take a close view as to how many of these associations have failed in their responsibilities and from where did the shortcomings come. All international competitions are planned well in advance, giving the associations enough time to find the funding. The Government should have had enough direction by SporTT as to their financial input and well in advance of these events.

Unfortunately, none of these responsibilities appeared to have been put in place and the end line was that a bunch of our young athletes have been deprived of a chance to see their future grow. Their drive to succeed has hit a pothole and some may well decide to go for illicit drugs or some other degrading form of activity. The guilt trip in this scenario should be laid squarely on the feet of all the stakeholders. It takes more than a day-to-day view of sport development. Victory happens in a few minutes or a few hours on the field, but success is prepared over a period of years, something which this region is sadly lacking. If there are persons involved in the more organised process of administration for our sporting disciplines, then they must sit together and bring forth a module which should be stringently studied and implemented immediately. Our sporting administrators are failing daily, not because they are doing a bad job, but simply because they do not understand what their duties entail. The comment is not meant to degrade anyone, but to simply ask each and every one of the general councils to sit up and take stock at the rapid decline of the values of our sport. Forgive me for not commenting on the marvelous performance of Jehue Gordon, but trust me, I shall choose enough space to describe this achievement, simply because it ended in Moscow, but started long before that day.
De higher a monkey climbs is de less his ass is on de line, if he works for FIFA that is! ;-)


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