Friday, August 24, 2012


Sport is something we have grown to love more and more and after 64 years of doing well and even great at the international level, Jamaica's efforts to build its sporting industry will take some work from all its people inside and out of the country. Here are some questions that we should try to answer as we build on this fast-growing sector * What is the industry worth? * What is the annual spend on Sport Advertising? * What is the revenue of each sporting federation a) football b) basketball c) netball d) track and field e) volleyball f) swimming g) horseracing h) cricket i) golf to name a few Health and gym facilities are also part of the sporting industry as it employs a significant number of persons. Sports and the economy can be based on the participation of the variety of paid personnel in the industry to include - coaches and other technical staff - teaching - professional athletes - referees, umpires and other officials - amusement, gambling and recreation - sporting goods and retail (manufacturing) The academic institutions should look further into what programmes are already in place and create more to support the base of the programme; while focusing on looking at the "Sports Industry Experience" - acknowledge the facts and look at the challenges. It may even require the government to rationalise the role of its sports agencies to meet the growing demand for the industry to look at industry standards and make recommendations for further development. The ultimate for Jamaica, as we have come to know, is preparation and performance, but there is so much more we can explore. Let's do this!

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Lots of stories will come out of London, but they are not going to ever capture the real impact of what Jamaica had to offer at these Games. While Jamaicans at home and abroad thought track and field was it, well, it was, but Alia Atkinson's swimming stories were profound. Samantha Albert's exploits in Equestrian were well published and Kenneth Edwards attempt on defeating the World Champion in karate was excitingly hilarious. A news item mentioned that if the chinese world championship had won in the semis, Edwards could have gotten back in the race (lol) but it wasn't to be. He had the crowds chanting "Jamaica, Jamaica" - that is a real live feedback on Brand JAMAICA. Anyway, the crowd. At the Olympic Park there were a few other venues outside of track and field, the aqautic centre is at the Eastern side of the main stadium and a massive food court along with some 'sightly' attractions. So imagine walking in a crowd of up to 100,000 twice a day for 10 days at least. The cops on foot and horses are there for your support; while the volunteers are there too with oversized hands pointing patrons in the right direction. They were pleasant. They were courteous. They recognised us each time we passed. And the other countries too. In my own biased way I think they recognised Jamaica more. They asked us for our pins, flags, shirts or any thing Jamaican we had. Some of us obliged. None of us wanted to let go of the paraphanelia we took with us as it was our stamp while in London. The crowd in and out of the park was heavy all the time. We stopped and took pictures. We were photographed. It was an amazing experience. Once track and field started though, things literally heated up...the ticket checkers asked "So what is Jamaica going to do today?" We were mesmerized with the attention we got. The billboards of one Usain Bolt (Visa approved) were everywhere around the Park. And yes, Visa in an Olympic sponsor. He was all the entrances possible. Stratford was BOLT-like in every way. The 80,000 capacity stadium was thrilled with exciting performances each day, but on August 5 when BOLT won the 100 metres, the decibel level of the stadium hit high pitch. It was LOUD after that....for the record, the stadium will be scaled down to seat 25,000 after the Games to facilitate a possible West Ham take over (time will tell). Enough Jamaicans were in the packed stadium and so we had our anthem play four times, by the third time, some of that crowd was singing a few of those words...oh what pride. Now it is time to get out at the end of the day and the crowd again....all 80,000 of us filling out at the same time into Stratford....Sadiki and I got tricked into walking to West Ham one night by Franno (the Dread) and 40 minutes later I felt ready for the Reggae Marathon - I wish! otherwise we ventured through the well mannered crowd into Westfield Mall most times to charge the phone, IPad, top the credit (yes, strange but true) or grab a bite. We were five stops from the Mall on the tube, so getting home was easy and we lived 10 minutes walk or less from the station. The crowd is still in my head....and hearing Jamaica on the bull horns, from the volunteers and from other patrons, is something I will not forget anytime soon. JAMAICA - a ya so nice :-)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Jamaica's home-based training working for T&F

The success of Jamaica's track and field programme over the last two Olympic Games can almost be credited to the decision of MVP Track Club and in recent times Racers Track Club's decision to keep its athletes here in Jamaica for training. The business model speaks to * Base in Jamaica * Training and Preparation in Jamaica * Enrollment in collegiate academic programmes * Collaboration with local gymnasiums * Attraction of local/regional sponsors * Participation in local meets * Financial Planning with Jamaican financial institutions * Local Management Teams Technical officials continue to build capacity by attending and even conducting workshops to grow and develop others while improving on their own skills. I am of the firm belief, the inclusion of the collegiate system's input has played a significant role in the country's development in sport and that continues 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil should bear more fruit. I also hope that the other sporting disciplines will follow...some of which are already putting plans in motion. The competition has their tertiary level programmes in tact and provides the basis for the mature athlete to flourish. We must encourage this programme and invest human, financial and physical resources to achieve the success it does deserve. Would be interested to do the case study of * Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce * Hansle Parchment * Jason Young ...just to name a few. All of whom have used the Collegiate academic and sport systems to their benefit. Therefore to say we are not capitalising on our strengths, is real rubbish. We have to trust ourselves to manage ourselves FIRST as you know Jamaica has an affinity to trust more from outside. The sport industry requires building of trust initially then the rest will flow as those technical capabilities are plenty. I ask the private sector to support the efforts of the tertiary level programmes and invest accordingly. It is the answer to Sport Development in Jamaica - grow from within. We will attract the business thereafter.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Caribbean - an OASIS for Sport Development

What the Caribbean islands have done at this Summer Olympic Games has been unprecedented and it is not done. While some of the islands have not been up to par, others have stepped in and done their part. The Caribbean presence has been superbly strong. The headlines in the papers, images and videos have not gone one day with some Caribbean influence. Take a look at the 400 metres for men and you will understand what I am talking about. Kirani and his Caribbean teenage sensations have just knocked over the rest of the world. In that finals of eight...five men were from the Caribbean and Jamaica had no presence there. However the Caribbean power is still STRONG. The Caribbean has an issue with insularity and some level of small island behvaiour that we can do without, however with agencies like CEDA, CARICOM (Yes I said it) and JAMPRO etc....we can make this happen. Drop the politics! We have tons of Caribbean people who are great influencers we can use to get this train running. We have some things to get to * World Cup Football 2014 * Summer Olympics 2016 * World Championships 2015 and 2017 many other major sporting events. In the meantime, let us tell our stories in our way - INVEST in the Caribbean. Make our models work. * Run effectiev academies * Maintain our facilities * Send our children to school * Focus on our jouney and be mindful of those around us * Get to meetings on time * Maintain and surpass international standards * Conduct grooming courses * Manage our own affairs ...etc etc etc I could go on, but I won't....let us MOVE and become the WORLD Power we obviously are Like · · Unfollow Post · Share · Delete

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Tales of London - Day One

With just under two days before Jamaica's track and field team begin its pursuit of greatness, the solid attention Alia Atkinson and Samantha Albert have given - is just a sign of what is to come. London is all JAMAICA. Well, certainly everywhere I have been so far. In a little town on the East Side almost as quaint and cool as Moneague, I found a magazine - Whats on festival guide - and on the cover is one Usain Bolt. Well Sally Jones painted the usual picture and all of the world waits - hmmmm Anyway, so far the city has been purring with excitement - from WiFi being free underground - courtesy of Virgin Media, to Get Ahead of the Games which told you what were the 'hot spots' for the Games; Rosetta Stone asking for Unity in Sport to the Mayor, Transport Department, National Rail and the Highway Agency with ads about how to and when to - London is the place to be. There is a sign which says "one million people will pass through this place every day" I was part of the million today and WOW! Stratford is where the Olympic Park is adjoining the massive Westfield Mall and the courteous folks who give you directions and seem ready for the millions more to come by August 12. Of course one of the million I saw today was someone who follows me on Twitter and he walks up to me by the entrance of the Westfield Mall and greets me with joy....he is from Australia - can you believe? Anyway we took pictures and did the chat up thing and we left...picture attached Amidst the one million we are recognised by lots of people and it's only day one since we got in. Unlike Daegu I have not encountered any taxi men yet....but I am sure I will have Tales of the Tube.... More to come Talk again soon