The incessant drum beat of doom and gloom emanating from the minds, mouths and pens of some of the country’s brightest and best business, political and economic minds may well be the dose of needed realism that is required.
But it is indicative of the lack of vision that has blighted our nation and fuelled a morose, almost desperate inferiority complex.
The plunging oil dollar is not a new situation. Those old enough will have experienced at least one such crisis. History will show we have survived and come through the rough seas. What history will also show is that we haven’t learned anything and keep making the same mistakes again and again.
So every time the oil price takes the not unexpected cyclical dip, our default position is hysteria and desperation masking as realism.
Whatever the economic and social challenges that may be on the horizon, I am confident that we will survive. What I would like to see us do is grab the opportunities to make the fundamental changes that we have avoided. The country’s economy is dependent on oil and gas. There is need to diversify. When would serious and tangible steps be made to transform the economy.
Sport can be an essential player in this transformation. Given appropriate measures that will aid the establishment of a structured policy framework to enable the development of a sport sector, sport will contribute to the growth and sustainability of the non-energy sector of the economy.
Creativity and thinking out of the box is required. Giving serious consideration to sport and a sport sector requires the conventional wisdom to think out of the box.
Structural transformation is urgently needed. We need to radically transform the way people look at sport.
The paradox is that a sport business sector will have to generate profit and return on investment for investors and banks. To successfully develop a sustainable, vibrant and dynamic sport business sector will require people who care deeply about sport, who have a greater sense of purpose other than just money.
Why? Because the battles are simply too tough to fight simply for money’s sake.
What makes a sports team successful? It depends on the sport. In general there is the need for talented, fit and well trained athletes and a competent coaching staff. One thing for sure is that every sport requires its athletes to be physically fit. In the same way establishing a sport sector will require people who have the fundamental skills, the basics without which no business can survive.
Being superbly fit is a basic requirement; it takes more than fitness to win an Olympic medal.
What separates the great athletes from the good and even extraordinary athlete? The greats consistently meet the critical success factors for their chosen sport. The ability to execute on the critical success factors is the difference between great and almost great.
It’s the same in business, medicine, law, entrepreneurship. The winners figure out what are the critical success factors and execute and deliver on them.
We live in a changing world. Trends are all around us. These trends provide an abundant source of opportunities.
What does it take to win?
A Margaret Mead quote points the way. She said: “never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.”
All we need is a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens to change the fortunes and future of T&T.
Brian Lewis is the president of the T&T Olympic Committee. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the national Olympic committee.