Saturday, May 11, 2013

Physical Education & Sport vs the rest

The fact that Physical Education and Sport are now being recognised rightfully as an academic course and business respectively - this has opened up discussions which are highlighting the lack of understanding of the subject areas. I would clearly state here * There is a difference between Physical Education and Sport * Physical Education now has for the last five years, exams at the highest level from CSEC and to be offered soon at the CAPE level * Sport, through its competition has been known to impact on a society - socially, economically, psychologically * Sport Business world wide is valued at close to a trillion dollars Based on some recent outbursts, there may be suggestions that sport is being overused in high schools; is distracting the institutions from their core work; is damaging the reputation of students. I challenge the writer that the rest of the education system needs to catch so it can efficiently and effectively manage its portfolio, which includes Physical Education. The study of Physical Education is academic, it looks closely of the study of the relationship with mind, body and soul. What about that isn't academic? Then Sport is the competitive, strategic and now economic viability of PE aimed at generating wealth, equality and recognition for people and country. We treat tradition as tradition and think we should not make adjustments, because that is what it is...tradition. But the non-traditional PE and Sport, having become more user-friendly has used the traditional methods to overtake its competition (pun intended). What that process is dynamic, some of us are still stuck in the normal mode and not realising the potential of equality in the education system where we all can benefit. Picture this, a school, college, university where the best of the traditional and non-traditional meets....the athletes in any of those institutions are managed by their peers in the traditional line. Where the community stadium is managed by the people there and the earnings are spent there to improve services, accessories and the lives of people. What about this don't we get? The Business Model has been presented by The Business of Sport and I invite the doubters to engage us to catch up to speed with the information. Research has also shown that sport can be used as 'soft power' for a nation such as Jamaica which continues to battle with its economic activities. I could make the same justification for music and entertainment. One of the challenges of being in a small circle, is none of us are willing to make bold decisions and move on with the programme; we have (The Business of Sport) and we urge you to join us. Education needs to be redefined in Jamaica as part of a community where Parents, Teachers, Community Leaders forge partnerships with the students to build a nation. I challenge the Ministry of Education to create this model for growth for education. Be open to ideas that work and use people who are capable to manage. Get in the Game!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

WHY? The Business of Sport

The third edition of the International Conference of The Business of Sport just ended in Kingston this past week and from all indications, the Caribbean at large has great potential. How many times are we going to be saying that though? And we will....however, there are some glaring opportunities available from this billion dollar industry (estimated at 632 billion US dollars) that makes up the world wide stake. The Caribbean with an estimated 7 million population which has produced some of the world's best in recent times is certainly creating those chances. The concept of the trilogy - the athlete, coach and manager to brand development, image rights, financial literacy, role of government to taking that break were the topics discussed at this year's renewal under the theme Change the Game. The other discussions were Get in the Game and Stay in the Game. How then can we really Change the Game? In borrowing a mission from Access Athletes, The Business of Sport is really "designed to provide professional athletes with the necessary tools to empower themselves and master their careers", but we can add that this process will also provide employment for support staff, a community and ultimately a nation, while strategically positioning the athlete, sport and the country's image. The point is, we all can get involved - we consume the product of sport through devices, live and related events; we buy merchandise , we follow them on social media, we send our children to camps and there are so many other ways to connect; so we have to consider who are the major contributors, sponsors to these brands (athletes) which generate a significant amount of money to be able to keep the business of sport ongoing? We are - we pay for the events, goods and we buy related products. How many of us, may want to buy a beverage because one of our favourite athletes promotes it? Or who wants to buy a shoe because....we know the answer. On the other hand, there are always the other side to the story....these same athletes make mistakes, all kinds of mistakes, not in keeping with the image that we want and then what... The Business of Sport then aims to educate, inform and provide a platform for entertainment. We are cognisant of that fact and the partners at Samuda & Johnson, Strategic Corporate Intervention Limited & Carole Beckford & Associates are committed to making this happen. See you in 2014... we will tell you where. We will Spread the Game! Keep in touch at

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Business of Sport Ministerial Forum

A Business Ministerial Forum KINGSTON, April 29 Ministers of Sport in the region will, have conversations with sport associations, coaches, managers, athletes, sponsors and corporate interests in the inaugural ministerial forum at the Business of Sport International Conference slated for May 1 and 2. Minister Natalie Neita-Headley will, along with Ministers of Sport from Barbados, the Hon. Stephen Lashley and from Belize, the Hon. Herman Longsworth, present in a session that will be moderated by Carole Beckford, President of the Business of Sport who describes the forum as "timely, relevant and essential to policy integrity, integration and efficacy both locally and regionally". The session "Sport Entities, the Government, National Policy and the Body Politic" will provide a blueprint for sport associations and federations in creating viable systems of management of the entity and the athlete. It will also examine the relationship between government and umbrella organizations in constructing and implementing a successful national sport policy and in fostering a viable sport industry. "This ministerial forum is the first at our conference and we intend to institutionalize it as we advocate for a Sport Ministers Council for the region to unify policy and action and establish mutually beneficial business models" remarked Business of Sport Partner Christopher Samuda. The Business of Sport seeks in this forum to bring together the governors and the governed, from a sport policy perspective, in re-enforcing the value of continual collaboration and partnerships in building a sport industry and economy. It will also underscore the need to bring stakeholders, particularly sport associations and federations, into the framework of policy making, action and implementation as part of their profile of success. The conference is being hosted by Carole Beckford & Associates and Strategic Corporate Interventions Limited under the theme "Change the Game".

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sporting events need stronger support

The week of March 10 – 17 this year was a spectacular week for Kingston starting with the Kingston City Run (March 10) and then CHAMPS (March 12 – 16). This precedes another massive sporting week to include Jamaica vs. Panama (Football) and the 22nd Venus International Volleyball Championship (March 22- 24). While the fire at the Wyndham was unfortunate and rooms stock depleted, there was the undisputed truth that Kingston was the place to be. Following the health fair, 5K, half marathon, after for the Kingston City Run, we should have had locations outside the stadium in select areas of the island where crowds could gather to watch the spectacle of CHAMPS to allow our residents and visitors alike to share in the vibe and the record-breaking track and field event. What then should have happened is a massive reggae concert on Saturday to give patrons an additional event to go to, as we seek to showcase the ‘best of Jamaica. Amazingly I saw an article in the Gleaner – Jamaica dips in Tourism Competitiveness – citing a lack of knowledge of the cultural experience in Jamaica. The article went on to suggest that many of our visitors know little of that cultural package Jamaica has to offer and that the marketing agency, the Jamaica Tourist Board, should pay keener attention to circulating that information to a wider global community. While I agree with some of that assertion, I also suggest that our event planners pay much keener attention to planning for calendar activities at least one year in advance to give patrons the opportunity to insert important events in their calendar. Much has been said about sport and its ability to attract a wide cross-section of patrons, much of whom are becoming the more affable members of society; they will have money to spend to ‘have a good time.’ That is the new trend of sport tourists and that good time includes not just the sporting event, but a great restaurant, party and access to good pieces of memorabilia. Can we at least get this going for 2014? What that means, is any event planned for January to July next year, should have already started some kind of planning, even to secure the dates and to get the right expertise on the teams. Go for teams of seven….no more, and take critical decisions to ensure the most efficiently run events. The decreasing sponsor dollar must attract the best return on investment and that to me is key. While the marketers look at the immediate returns on products/services, I differ and think a confident and assured consumer will eventually access the products/services later. Remember a disgruntled consumer takes seven times as much to convince to (re)like your services. The media is critical to the success of any event and with social media reaching far and wide, this platform must be used to promote and record the historical moments in all formats. We have to engage all demographics and create something for everyone, while focusing on a specific market share. If we commit to making sport an active part of our almost stagnant economy, we must make better decisions. Let’s look at the numbers, but do not underestimate the power of a satisfied internal and external consumer. I look forward to July 1 to June 2013 period, where Jamaica’s event will be structured around the strengths of what we are known for, a sporting destination with the best food, entertainment and PEOPLE.

Friday, March 8, 2013


KINGSTON, March 8 West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) presidential candidate, Whycliffe ‘Dave’ Cameron is recommending the “re-engagement of Corporate Caribbean” as part of the process in growing the cricket product in the region. Cameron, who is a vice president now, officially presented his manifesto on Friday in Kingston. His campaign and recommendations for the sustained growth in West Indies should come mainly from systems which facilitate improved development of the talent, having greater access to revenue streams, and the restoration of Caribbean pride and unity. The presidential candidate also stated that “when the West Indies does well domestically and internationally the region enjoys a sense of togetherness which transmits positive vibe and energy, but the board will have to lead a process which makes that energy translate into a more successful business model for the sport.” He highlighted the successful performances of all the teams over the last three years, stating that there are tremendous opportunities to build on, and he hopes to be given the mandate to lead that charge stating that “those optimistic activities have opened doors for the rebuilding process to continue.” “Building cricket as an industry will take some paradigm shift and the process to do this must be an all inclusive one,” stated Cameron. He believes the region has the requisite skills to undertake this massive job, and knows the region is poised to foster the growth of cricket. Responsibility which has so far played a key role in how Cameron and his team want to operate and will see the territorial boards being empowered and being held accountable; upon which he believes will widen the talent pool and by extension giving the technical team much better options for the variety of competitions the teams will be involved in. Cameron’s support so far for the post of president has come from Jamaica and the Windwards, both of which have publicly declared their support. At the presentation in Kingston, the audience was a mix of corporate and cricket officials’ support. The March 27 election which will be held in Barbados will see current president, Julian Hunte against Cameron, while the candidates for vice president are Joel Garner, Barbados and Emmanuel Nathan, Dominica.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

GC Foster College - repositioning Spanish Town

This past week (February 20), the GC Foster College of Physical Education & Sport, opened its Sport and Recreation Museum and held its inaugural Sport Symposium. For a 30-odd year old institution it is a significant stride to make for the College’s overall development and subsequent progress. What was evident in the two-day event was the integration of its management and staff, playing the role of moderator, presenter, lead coordinator, hosting along with the entire college population getting an opportunity to rub shoulders with the leaders of Jamaica’s sporting industry. What was even more significant was the opportunity to hear former Prime Minister, the Most Honourable P.J. Patterson, speak about a dream come true. The GC Foster story is largely untold, but as the programme and mandate of the institution are being executed, the word has to get out. Some facts on the institution reveal that there is at least one trained Physical Education trained teacher from that College in almost every secondary school in the island. It has been contributing to Caribbean Physical Education teacher development since the mid 1980s, training teachers from St. Lucia, St. Kitts, St. Vincent & the Grenadine & Antigua along with Jamaica. The College boasts some of the top technical experts in the field of football, cricket, basketball and track and field. The programmes which are key to supporting the potentially large sporting industry are growing – Massage Therapy, Coaching, Sport Management, to name a few. The museum however, has tremendous potential and if managed can propel the College’s stocks exponentially. Museums are attractions. Museums are historical sites. Museums are a great way to relive history. Those are valuable in the world today and should be marketed as such. The donation by retired and elite West Indies cricket umpire, Hon. Steve Bucknor, is just one way of indicating the significance of a museum which can eventually create a package deal for Bucknor and his impact on cricket from an umpire’s perspective. The fact that his daughter, Shari, now attends the institution is an indication of the continuity of his story and may serve to change a few lives. That is progress. On the development side though, is the potential for GC Foster to be a college town in St. Catherine, helping to reposition the first capital as a monument town, where we attract patrons from home and abroad to recapture the wonderful story that town has. Housing, manufacturing, entertainment and sporting activities can be reactivated. The linkages to the overall community development are to be explored. So the partnership has to be fostered and GC Foster College stands out as the place to make it happen. While the Parish Council & Chamber of Commerce have teams in place already handling Spanish Town as a Project; they should now move to seek to involve the College family as part of the dialogue going forward and refocus its attention on implementing plans for the further progress of Angels, Spanish Town. The opportunities are always endless, but it requires the will to make it happen. Let’s change the game and make this happen!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Australians will return to Jamaica - Successful track & field camp

After two weeks of hard work, dedication, commitment and competition the Australians who came to Jamaica on Monday, January 14 will return. Hayden Knowles, Managing Director, Competitive Edge took a group of ten athletes from all over Australia to Jamaica and partnered with The Business of Sport and GC Foster College under the leadership of International Coach, Maurice Wilson. Milton Samuda, leading partner in The Business of Sport shared "the best of knowledge is shared, what it does is raise the standards for everybody." This was in response to a question being asked of Coach Wilson as to why is he coaching the Aussies to beat "us" - Wilson responded "I am really an international coach." Wilson reflected on the days when the USA was largely responsible for preparation of Jamaica's athletes and gave credit to MVP's Stephen Francis as the leader in starting of a training base in Jamaica for Jamaican athletes. The rest we know is history. Wilson told the gathering on Sunday at the Courtleigh that his GC Foster, Sprint Tech and coaching staff along with the Aussies learnt confidence, motivation, time management which converted to 'life changing experiences' for all involved. Wilson had a 8-member team to include masseurs, assistant coach and an administrator who managed the activities for the 14-day experience. The delegation though based at the GC Foster College had exchanges with Olympians, Don Quarrie, Bertland Cameron, Michael Frater, Dennis Johnson and visited several facilities across the corporate area. A few of them competed at the Central Hurdles & Field Events Championships (January 19) and the Queens/Grace Jackson meet (January 26). The most outstanding was Andrew McCabe who won on both occasions, while Tom Robertson, Jarrod Geddes, Jordan Caldow and Tjimarri Mudara Sanderson-Milera were to receive honorary mentions. Knowles in his response to the meeting was emotional but solid in his support for the Jamaican system and promised to return with more track and field athletes, but also would help with track and field (throwing), rugby, swimming and even some construction assistance. There are and will be opportunities for further exchange. The inaugural camp, by all indications was a success and the Aussies will be back. This was brought to you by The Business of Sport, Competitive Edge and GC Foster College and assisted by the Courtleigh Hotel and Suites, Jamaica Tourist Board, Yellow Pages, Digicel, Pepsi Jamaica (Gatorade) and KFC.