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The preparation part of a team for a big tournament is very involved, especially if the goal is towards a World Cup or Olympic event. The Olympic Committee’s goal of 10 gold medals in 2024 that its president Brian Lewis has set for this country is a huge one.
He has recruited the help of Cleopatra Borel as an ambassador for the cause and is little by little attempting to put things in place to facilitate the preparation period leading up to the 2024 Olympic Games. I recently heard it said by Lewis while attending a “courtesy call” for the men’s rugby team following their NACRA Championship game, that the process involved with achieving success is where emphasis must be in any undertaking. I am not so sure if all the powers that be are always as acutely aware of this fact as Lewis appears to be.
In the local environment, national sport is heavily dependent on volunteer work and that makes it an extremely volatile environment. In our day-to-day lives, many people rather pay a professional to handle a project than ask a friend or family member to do it because although on the one hand you might be able to save on cost, on the other hand you may end up paying for it in time and/or quality or attention to detail.
In the end it stands to reason that it is worth the cost to pay a professional. So, while even the USOC relies heavily on volunteer work, there is a point where it is not enough.
Last year when I visited the US Olympic Training Centre in Colorado Springs, the first thing I saw when I began the tour of their grounds, was a huge wall recognising their sponsors. A Google search for “USOC corporate partners” will bring a clearer appreciation for sponsorship involvement required. The site has two categories of corporate sponsors: Worldwide and Domestic Sponsors totalling 37 large to huge corporate entities. Their National Medical Network includes eight facilities, and their licensee list is 27 in number.
Gaining the commitment of these entities is a serious business, not a charity. When a team makes a commitment to pursue a World Cup or Olympic qualification, they are agreeing to a serious, long term relationship that will involve the appropriate levels of transparency and accountability.
Unfortunately, the sports industry in T&T has no reputation of possessing either of these traits on a national level and as such NSOs are faced with an even larger challenge of proving their worth when wooing potential sponsors.
The TTOC has afforded the public an opportunity to participate in the #10gold24 task by creating a bank account to which random deposits can be made. It is important that the public clearly understand that the Olympic Committee, just like in the US, is not based on federal support. These Committees exist based on private funding and volunteer work. The USOC operates by a stable, well balanced structure combining the two and that is why it is sustainable and successful.
Coming back to the local environment, despite the negative stigma the sports industry has earned for being corrupt, it is not impossible to source the private funding. It is important however that NSOs appreciate and accept that now more than ever, it is essential that they prove their commitment to a professional level of transparency and accountability.
This will involve putting pen to paper and signing on a dotted line. The NSOs therefore have to honestly ask themselves whether they are up to the task of accomplishing dreams of this magnitude or at least give it an honest and earnest crack at it – no excuses. This conscious decision will be a game-changer.
We have knocked at the door of opportunity many times in sport but because of poor planning and preparation we have not been able to completely follow through. Luck has been described as that point when opportunity and preparation meet. While you cannot and will not always anticipate the opportunities, preparation is something that can be deliberately orchestrated with the right team of knowledgeable people of upstanding character.
Get that solid team together and a firm appreciation for the value of sport preparation and when the opportunity is presented, Lady Luck will make an appearance.
• Asha De Freitas-Moseley M.S. A.T.C., has been an athletic trainer/therapist with the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) for the past 12 years. She specializes in the rehabilitation of injuries experienced in the lives of active and/or athletic populations applying Active Release Technique (ART), Facial Stretch Therapy (FST) and Contemporary Dry Needling to complement her training as a certified Corrective Exercise Specialist.
If you would like a consultation or have an injury, she can be reached at Pulse Performance Ltd., located at #54 Gallus St, Woodbrook.
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