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July 07, 2020

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The Sport Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA) is an initiative with which both the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) and the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC) have signed a memorandum of understanding.

Last week, a SIGA general assembly was held in Paris, France, at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. Among the decisions agreed was the appointment of an interim SIGA general council.

For those sport stakeholders who may have an interest in finding out more information about SIGA visit the website www.siga-sport.com

Below I will share the statement of intent in an effort to provide clarity as to what is the intention of SIGA.

The statement of intent reads:
“With the aim of addressing much-needed reform in the integrity and governance of sport, leading organisations from across all sectors of the industry formed a Sport Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA).

As an independent and neutral coalition involving international stakeholders from across multiple industry sectors, SIGA has been launched with the sole purpose of protecting the integrity of sport and will work to drive forward key reforms across good governance and financial transparency in sport.

The development of SIGA follows increasing calls, from stakeholders across all corners of industry involved in and supporting sport, for the establishment of a global, independent and neutral sport integrity body. As part of their commitment, leading organisations have signed the Aspirational Statement of Intent and endorsed SIGA’s Core Principles for Sport Integrity.”

There are influential individuals and organisations involved in progressing the SIGA project forward. Among the participants at the Paris meeting was Mrs Cindy McCain, wife of Senator John McCain representing the McCain Institute. Her perspective on issues such as human trafficking have relevance.

SIGA—What is the motivation?

It stems from the appreciation of the role that sport can play in the lives of young people and children around the world. It acknowledges that the failure of sport governance on a global scale and the negative impact on sport cannot be denied.

It is an acceptance of the hard truth that to continue to live in denial can permanently undermine the reputation, image and values of sport. The time to act is at hand. Changing the governance culture within sport will not be a bed of roses.

But those who have signed onto SIGA are of the view that there must be a sense of urgency. There will be sport leaders within international federations who will not in the beginning embrace SIGA and that is to be expected.

To ensure that the issue of sport governance is addressed in a manner that will attack the root cause of the governance failures there can be no denial.

The problems must be addressed. This week is very important. Olympic Day will be celebrated on Thursday. T&T boxers, women’s rugby 7s and the men and women’s beach volleyball teams will all be competing in Olympic qualifiers that will be their last opportunity to qualify for Rio 2016.

The track and field Senior Championships will be a decisive Rio 2016 Olympic trials. Track and field athletes date with destiny is June 24, 25, 26 June. On or off the field of play it seems as if for the world of sport locally and globally its now or never.

• Brian Lewis is president of the T&T Olympic Committee (T&TOC). The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the T&TOC.