31 July is CANOC day. A message was sent out. That it barely registered or caught the attention of sport stakeholders in the Caribbean is an opportunity not a slight. CANOC must embrace the opportunity to heighten awareness and engage in enhanced outreach to provide information about the organisation.
As such I am using today's blog to highlight an important occasion in the history of the Caribbean Olympic Movement (CANOC) and the message circulated on that day.
It is with a sense of purpose that we commemorate this special day in the life and history of our still growing, evolving, learning, developing and maturing organisation. There is much to ponder but it is also important to acknowledge with a significant amount of pride, respect and achievement the indomitable will with which, individually and collectively, we the members of CANOC continue to fight for our shared vision and mission. Our approach to CANOC reflects our passion, independence of thought, our diversity, our dedication and commitment. We always emerge with a stronger more resilient, credible and authentic CANOC. Unity is our strength and our strength is our unity.
These are challenging times, socially, economically and politically. Sport can't exist in a vacuum divorced from the reality of life in a fast-changing world where technology and innovation are disrupting every aspect of human life and doing so at a speed and pace that gives no pause. It is either change, adapt, embrace or be left behind.
At this juncture in the history of human kind, now more than ever, the universal language of sport and the timeless relevance of Olympism, the Olympic spirit and values, present CANOC with opportunities to be in the vanguard of the Movement, making a positive difference in the lives of our people, in particular the youth and young people of the Caribbean. In the context of the weight of history of the Caribbean integration efforts that date back to the 17th century.
It is important during difficult, contentious and dysfunctional times we contemplate our shared authenticity, credibility and heritage. Individually and collectively we have a duty, obligation and responsibility to the children, youth and young people of this generation, the next generation and the generations yet unborn to envision a CANOC that is sustainable.
History has shown that only when a people come together to address issues that affect them collectively can they ever hope to resolve their problems. There is no other option.
Brian Lewis- President of Caribbean National Olympic Committees (CANOC).
The first meeting of the Caribbean Caucus of National Olympic Committees (CANOC) was held in Barbados in February, 1999. The concept for a Caribbean Olympic Caucus was first touted in January 1998 in Melbourne, Australia when a group of Caribbean delegates met to discuss Caribbean Olympism and other matters of common interest. This group called for the establishment of formal mechanisms for communication and valuable dialogue in order to develop relevant strategies to enhance the regional Olympic Movement.
The work of the Caucus included the preparation of a Constitution. This work resulted in the establishment of the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees, the Constitution of which was adopted on July 31st, 2003 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
The Vision of CANOC according to its Constitution is To promote, encourage and assist sport, sport development and physical recreation throughout the Caribbean for the benefit of the nations and people of the Caribbean.