MINISTER of Sport and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe congratulated TT Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis on his appointment as chairman of the Sport Integrity Global Alliance’s (SIGA) Standing Committee on Race, Gender, Diversity and Inclusion in Sport.

Lewis, who also serves as the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC) president and a SIGA member, was elected to serve in this role on Monday. Ju’Riese Colon, CEO of United States Center for SafeSport, was appointed vice-chair.

The TTOC president will spearhead the diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives of the world’s largest association of sporting governance and integrity.

In a release issued by the minister on Thursday, Cudjoe said, “SIGA’s mandate is to safeguard the integrity of the world of sports through advocacy and meaningful reforms. This independent body is supported by over 100 multi-industry stakeholders worldwide.

“To have our very own Brian Lewis steer SIGA’s committee on Race, Gender, Diversity and Inclusion is simply momentous. His position will directly impact this country’s own efforts to eradicate divisive barriers in sport. There will be much learnings for our sporting administrators and athletes to reap.”

Minister Cudjoe added that TT is raising its voice on the diversity, equity and inclusion agenda. Last weekend, the Special Olympics hosted a virtual charity fundraiser to ensure special athletes have annual support and are better incorporated into mainstream sporting activities.

On his appointment as chair, Lewis said he is ready to serve.

““The SIGA Standing Committee on Race, Gender, Inclusion and Diversity is historic and significant with an incredible opportunity to be a force and catalyst for positive change within global sport.

To be asked to chair the Standing Committee is an awesome honour and responsibility. Coming from a small Caribbean Island it’s a significant statement of inclusion and diversity by SIGA,” said Lewis.

The new SIGA Standing Committee will build upon the work of a multi-stakeholder task force that SIGA established earlier this year on this same topic. This led to a series of recommendations that were publicly announced, two months ago, during the first-ever Sport Integrity Week.

Such recommendations included a review of the SIGA Universal Standards on Good Governance in Sport to include new evolving good practices in this area, such as unconscious bias training for employees of sports organisations, by way of example of a new gold standard.

SIGA Standing Committee on Race, Gender, Inclusion and Diversity:

Chairman – Brian Lewis (TTOC and CANOC president)

Deputy Chair – Ju’Reese Colón (CEO, US Centre for SafeSport)

Members – Affy Sheikh (Head of Starlizard Integrity Services), Angela Smith Chair (Stoke City Supporters Council, Member of Great Britain World champion squash team), Arun Kang (OBE CEO, Sporting Equals), Densign White (MBE CEO, IMMAF), Karin Korb (Wheelchair tennis two-time Paralympian & 10 -time member of USA World Team), Michelle Chai (COO, Olympic Council of Malaysia), Stacey Copeland (First British woman to win the Commonwealth title for boxing), Taylor Green (SIGA member, SIGA Youth Council and SIGA mentee)