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Re­cent­ly I had the op­por­tu­ni­ty to meet with There­sa Min­nie - head of Out­reach at the IC­SA - the Gov­er­nance In­si­tute. She was vis­it­ing from the Unit­ed King­dom and here to be one of the main pre­sen­ters at a Gov­er­nance work­shop host­ed by the lo­cal arm of IC­SA. The work­shop was held at the Cham­ber of Com­merce build­ing, West­moor­ing, Port-0f-Spain re­cent­ly.

It was a very in­for­ma­tive con­ver­sa­tion. The op­por­tu­ni­ty to sit on a pan­el and bring a sports gov­er­nance per­spec­tive was a bit dif­fer­ent but en­light­en­ing. I thank Mr Wayne Woods for the in­vi­ta­tion.

One of the pub­li­ca­tions Ms Min­nie left with me is en­ti­tled The Fu­ture of Sports Gov­er­nance-Be­yond Au­ton­o­my. In the sec­tion - Back­ground- the as­ser­tion was made that tak­ing stock of gov­er­nance in sport is time­ly and nec­es­sary. The pub­li­ca­tion shared the per­spec­tive that in the past gen­er­a­tion, the sports sec­tor has changed. Un­prece­dent­ed me­dia ex­po­sure and trans­for­ma­tive rev­enue streams have al­tered the sport­ing and gov­er­nance land­scapes.

In Oc­to­ber 2016, the in­tro­duc­tion of the Code for Sports Gov­er­nance for pub­licly fund­ed sport saw the re­quire­ment of com­pli­ance if a sport or­gan­i­sa­tion is in re­ceipt of pub­lic funds. UK Sport and Sport Eng­land es­tab­lished a new gold stan­dard for sports gov­er­nance. The Code has for the first time in the UK in­tro­duced manda­to­ry com­pli­ance in gov­er­nance. It's go­ing to be a cat­a­lyst for sig­nif­i­cant change.

One of the re­al­i­ties is in the mod­ern era is the huge in­vest­ment Gov­ern­ment is mak­ing in the sports sec­tor. This is a world­wide oc­cur­rence with a few no­table ex­cep­tions-USA be­ing one.

Sport is al­so fig­ur­ing promi­nent­ly in pol­i­cy for­mu­la­tion.

The chal­lenge to sports' stri­dent ob­jec­tions to at­tempts to di­min­ish au­ton­o­my is the in­creas­ing in­volve­ment of Gov­ern­ment is now al­most a giv­en.

In the com­ing years' sport gov­ern­ing bod­ies will not be able to claim an au­to­mat­ic right to be au­tonomous. The le­git­i­ma­cy and au­ton­o­my of the sport Move­ment de­pend on up­hold­ing the high­est prin­ci­ples of eth­i­cal be­hav­iour and good gov­er­nance.

The IC­SA pub­li­ca­tion ap­pears to be pro­mot­ing the idea that sports bod­ies have out­grown the tra­di­tion­al mod­el of au­ton­o­my.

I look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing the di­a­logue with the IC­SA. The Trinidad and To­ba­go Olympic Com­mit­tee (TTOC) and the Trinidad and To­ba­go Com­mon­wealth Games As­so­ci­a­tion must look to non-tra­di­tion­al part­ners and al­liances if it wants to be part of the so­lu­tion and not con­tin­ue to be per­ceived in some quar­ters as be­ing a sig­nif­i­cant con­trib­u­tor to the prob­lems.

On a part­ing note, On Fri­day the TTOC will cel­e­brate Olympic Day at the Lord Har­ris Square in Port-of-Spain. Pri­ma­ry Schools from through­out the coun­try have been in­vit­ed to at­tend with the re­quired per­mis­sion ob­tained from the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion.

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