The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) focus on capacity support for member national sport organisations (NSOs) is bearing fruit and the turning point is underway. Those who believe that sport administration is facing serious problems need not be alarmed. Based on the participants signing up for the TTOC sport administration courses there is significant interest in learning about what it takes to be a forward thinking modern sport administrator.
The participants attending the course are determined to make a positive difference as they share experiences and discussions about the betterment of sport. No matter the problems they have an enthusiasm and passion that augurs well for the future. This is not to say that frustration may not set in. But there is a positivity and willingness to confront the issues and wrestle with the solutions that is admirable. They are fearless, inspired and motivated.
The intention of the TTOC in hosting annually a number of courses and workshops is a singular one—to help build capacity, knowledge and skill. Enhancing the ability of those who have a keen interest in sport administration is an important priority. Encouraging participants to take the initiative. To unlock their sport leadership potential so as to transform T&T sport is well worth the effort.
Recent participants include a number of past and current national level athletes who have signed up for the courses and workshops and have stuck it out to the end. Unearthing a new breed of sport administrators who are imaginative and bright these disruptors aren’t contented to complain and do nothing. They are willing to get up and get, hardworking, committed and willing.
They are honest in facing up to the major issues facing T&T sport—the economy and other matters of public concern. That there are structural and systemic social and economic problems facing sport isn’t overwhelming and intimidating the new breed of course participants. They are prepared to challenge the status quo and those who are ineffective in representing the position of sport and the athletes.
The modernisation of T&T sport is an ongoing process. It is important that the TTOC through Olympic Solidarity programmes and funding continue to strengthen national sport organisations management and governance structures. Through the tools provided by Olympic Solidarity the TTOC has been able to continue to develop sport administration training courses.
Moving past the sport administrators’ course is the advanced sports management course which is based on student participation, practical implementation of the material studied through case studies, sharing of experiences and the development of a learning community. The aim of the advanced course is to give a new perspective on sports organisations.
The case study approach is aimed at placing the participants in reality based situations while thinking about future solutions. The sports administrators course provides basic training over a short period. The advanced sports management course is comprised of several modules and an emphasis on acquisition of the skills necessary for sports management.
Sport in T&T will repeat the benefit. The real challenge is for the older heads and thought leaders to not feel threatened by the new ideas and fresh thinking. The TTOC courses and workshops are an incubator of creativity and innovation. The dawn of a new era of T&T sport managers and administrators is here and not a moment too soon. Let’s do it. Embrace and empower change.