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.

Physical Education instructors need to step in

Lots of sporting areas are being explored and lots more schools, clubs and teams are emerging into competition. The year all round has sporting events that any athlete can participate in. That is good for the consumers and even the sponsors as the consistent prmotion, display and even distribution of products and services get a lifeline for the period of the event. There are however, a few areas of concern. While we enjoy watching these athletes run, hop, play football, netball etc, we are keen to note the injuries and sometimes the inability of the athletes to perform basic skills. So it begs the question, who are the people who prepare these athletes? As a trained physical education teacher I know of the value of preparation (assessment of the athletes) equipment and training facilities competition - how to win recovery rest Once those areas are done effectively, the athletes will sometimes go through multiple competitions without sustaining any major injuries. The plan must be structured and be coordinated to benefit the athlete ultimately. There are too many reports of injuries and obvious inability of the athletes to go through their respective seasons without challenges. The other key area is nutrition which must be enforced. I think Jamaica has enough trained PE teachers in its system to support the work of these sporting bodies as they should, as with the sport industry evolving, the main stakeholders must be protected. The athletes are sport's brand and all efforts are to be made to keep them healthy, competitive and marketable. I do beleive it is an open opportunity for PE teachers to join forces to make a statement so the country can have better prepared athletes. There are ways of getting together - an association, meetings, forums, workshops and seminars. Dispel the myth that sports people are not as 'bright' as others and join hands and hearts for healthier athletes. What say you?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Caribbean Region MUST unite to capture valuable sporting dollar

January 19 Caribbean Sporting Industry has to re-focus its attention on an economic model before the end of 2013. This industry will become one of the biggest income earners for the region over the next five to ten years. With the world sporting industry currently valued of up to US$620 billion (AT Kearney) – live events are emerging as one of the areas to earn the highest income. A review on the Sport Market by AT Kearney, has revealed that “live sports events in particular offer a compelling proposition to different industry participants—from free-to-air broadcasters seeking viewers and advertising revenues and pay-TV broadcasters looking for loyal subscribers, to sponsors moving away from traditional media, event organizers, athletes and spectators.” Football (Soccer) is believed to capture 43 per cent of the earnings for sport, with the US NFL a distance second with 13 per cent and baseball 12 per cent. However, the Caribbean’s recent flurry of T20 cricket, which has seen an investment from ESPN has shown that this is an area that the region can focus on, with other live events to attract a wide cross-section of visitors and viewers of this sport. The same AT Kearney report has established that the sport industry is growing faster than GDP in Brazil, Russia, India and China. What that means the consumption of sport in the BRIC has become predictably high and in the next five years at least, track and field, cricket, football are three of the sporting areas that should be attractive packages for those markets both inside and out. China is one of the countries with the highest number of outgoing tourists and stays in countries an average of 14 days. They are also among the top spending tourists on sport. What then can the Caribbean do to ensure that it captures some of the pie of the ever-growing sport market? Here are some suggestions: • Make travel across the Caribbean more reasonable and convenient • Upgrade venues to host events • Engage international media partners to earn from media rights • Train personnel in the region for volunteer and paid work • Tertiary-level institutions should release information they have researched • Create a package of regional sporting ambassadors The Caribbean has enough stars of its own, it can create applicable merchandise to supply the world as the events and venues are properly prepared and managed. One of the burning issues too, is the accommodation for media at the venues; as once media is invited, the facilities ought to be able to host them properly. The involvement of the Tourist Boards is also critical, as time has come for them to realize the ‘sun, sea and sand’ way of promoting the region may be important, but the region is not just that, but more. As several countries in the region take the respective teams to Moscow in August 2013, Brazil in 2014 and 2016, and all over the world for major sporting competitions, now is the time to merge thoughts and ideas and implement programmes to earn from these exploits. Time is running out and the doors are closing quicker than we can imagine. Get in the Game and play!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


KINGSTON, JANUARY 8 - The World’s Fastest Man - Usain Bolt is always doing something extraordinary and come April 18-21, he is expected to take that to another level, when The Usain Bolt Foundation hosts its inaugural Jamaica Weekend Experience, at the IBEROSTAR Hotels and Resorts, Montego Bay, Jamaica. This exclusive four-day events will feature a range of exciting activities including a Taste of Jamaica, golf, comedy, beach volleyball, treasure hunt, themed parties and a gala dinner and auction. All proceeds from this event will benefit the Usain Bolt Foundation and the 13 projects it currently supports. The Foundation is aimed at developing opportunities through positive change for children by enhancing their life experiences through educational, social and cultural development. Usain Bolt has extended invitations to his business partners, friends and fans to participate in this event in what he considers “an exciting weekend to give back to his community.” The 2012 IAAF and Jamaica’s male athlete of the year has partnered with the Iberostar for what is expected to be a stellar weekend event. “I am excited to be able to positively impact the lives of our children – our future, in a meaningful way. We have 100 days to this event and I am counting on all my friends, fans and supporters to help us achieve our fundraising target,” said Bolt. The Foundation’s goal is to raise between three and five million US dollars.