Former President of the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC), Steve Stoute, has relinquished leadership of what he considers his baby, CANOC, after 17 years at the helm. On Sunday 24 October 2016 Stoute made good on his word given two years earlier when elected in his native Barbados, to step down after two-of the current four-year term.
Mr Stoute, whose vision led to the formation first of the Caribbean Caucus of National Olympic Committees in 1999 to the official establishment of CANOC in 2003, informed the organisation’s Annual General Assembly in Guadeloupe on 23 October that he was proud to watch ‘his baby’ develop through the formative years.
Mr Stoute’s legacy is highlighted by the inclusion of Associate Membership Articles in the Statutes of the Central American and Sports Organisation (CACSO) and the Pan American Sports Organisation (PASO) that opens the way for the French, English and Dutch territories of the Caribbean to participate in the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) and Pan American Games in the future. His mantra was always, “the Olympic Movement must be about inclusion, not exclusion.”
The CANOC Academy has facilitated several capacity-building workshops, first in tandem with the Organising Committee of Toronto2015 and later with the Peruvian Olympic Committee. Every CANOC member has benefitted from these workshops.
During his tenure at the helm of CANOC, Mr Stoute raised the profile of the organisation and earned the recognition, respect and support of the leadership of the International Olympic Committee, the Pan American Sports Organisation and the Central American and Caribbean Sports Organisation. He has been an indefatigable fighter for the maintenance of close and progressive working relationships.
Finally, Mr Stoute’s proudest moment may well have been the extensive coverage given to Caribbean athletes during the most recent edition of the Summer Olympic Games held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a few months ago. Never before in the history of the participation of Caribbean NOCs in the Olympic Games have the peoples of the region been able to receive such comprehensive coverage of every one of their athletes involved in competition.
All of CANOC remains enthused by the leadership Mr Stoute provided to the organisation over the past 17 years and joined the Executive in declaring him ‘Honorary Life President of CANOC’ at its 14th General Assembly in Guadeloupe.