In The Spotlight
IOC President takes part in sporting activities to mark Olympic Week
International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach joined youngsters from Lausanne and other Swiss regions in participating in a range of activities to mark Olympic Week.
The initiative, established by the Olympic Museum based in the Swiss city, offers 40 free sporting and cultural activities to eight to 15-year-olds and their families.
The event is now in its 35th year and the 2014 edition reportedly attracted around 6,500 participants.
Bach took part in a range of sports, including basketball and korfball, and he also interacted with members of the public during his appearance.
Several of the sports on the Summer Olympic programme will be exhibited during the week, such as archery, athletics, badminton, basketball, boxing, fencing, gymnastics, golf, handball, judo, rowing, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis and weightlifting.
Participants can also take part in biathlon and bobsleigh, two sports on the Winter Olympic programme, as well as billiards, climbing, orienteering and roller sports, which are all recognised by the IOC.
Attendees will also get the chance to try out non-recognised sports such as broomball, cheerleading, diabolo, American football, Nordic walking, inline hockey and slackline, similar to rope walking.
These activities will all continue throughout Olympic Week, which is due to conclude on Thursday (October 15).
Those who attend the event in Lausanne, considered the worldwide capital of the Olympic Movement, will also get the chance to meet an athlete and get involved in sessions outside of sport, such as road prevention and a Get Active! Interactive exhibition aimed at increasing the amount of exercise young people do.
Since the opening of the Olympic Museum in 1993, Olympic Week has grown each year and now offers a host of sporting activities to young people free of charge.
It was originally purely a presentation of Lausanne’s various sports clubs when it was first set up in 1980.
Bach warns FIFA "enough is enough" and more than change of President is required
International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has warned how FIFA must act "swiftly to regain credibility" amid a claim that their problems are "structural" in nature, requiring more changes than simply the election of a new President.
In what marks by far his strongest criticism yet concerning the problems engulfing football's world governing body, Bach told the organisation to take measures complying with themes of accountability, transparency and good governance prioritised in the IOC's own Agenda 2020 reform process.
This follows today's announcement that FIFA President Sepp Blatter and UEFA counterpart Michel Platini have both been provisionally suspended for 90 days by the adjudictory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee, while former vice-president Chung Mong-joon has been banned for six years.
Good governance is not a slogan - Things That Matter column
Its worth all the trouble. Time is valuable. We have to spend it wisely and focus on the things that really matter. We can unlock the haven of human potential that is abundant in T&T if only we believed in ourselves enough to concentrate on what we must do rather than focusing on what we like to do.
Its 3 a.m as the packed mini bus travels through the streets of Paramaribo, already buzzing with market vendor activity. Sport leaders heading to the airport to catch a 4.30 am Caribbean Airline flight to Port of Spain. United in a singular commitment and determination to make a positive difference through sport and Olympism.
That the Trinbagonians will head straight from touch down at 5.30 a.m to their respective workplaces is a reality that often gets lost in the incompetent, self serving sport administrator narrative. The stush life story line of FIFA and other international federations is not the lot of the average Joe and Jane sport administrator. But truth be told, changing the negative narrative will only come against the back drop of good governance.
There has never been a better time. The enormous potential and opportunity for growth in sport places needed pressure on every single sport leader and administrator to get off their high horse and come down to earth. Be it the TTOC, the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC) in the respective Caribbean countries, now is the time.
Driving good governance is the most important priority. The foundation for sustainable growth and development must be built on good governance. The 13th general assembly of CANOC took place in Paramaribo, Suriname on Sunday while the Olympic Solidarity Forum theme this year was resource allocation.
Two long days that could turn out to be nothing more than a talk shop if the importance of the deliberations in principle constitution amendments are allowed to drown in the in the river of failed implementation and lack of focused attention. The words good governance was mentioned so many times that keeping count became a futile exercise.
Obviously the concerns about poor governance is now at critical mass proportion. Or are they? Time will certainly provide the acid test.
The fact that the CANOC executive and the general assembly supported a proposal made by the TTOC that the regional umbrella Olympic Movement body undertake a process to create a Caribbean Good Sport Governance code is cause for optimism. The CANOC general assembly agreed in principle to amend the organisation’s constitution to include among other things term limitations. This is a significant step. The wind of change is coming.
Term limitations for office holders is not a small step but a huge step forward for CANOC. Its now 5.08 am and the Caribbean Airline flight is beginning its descent into Piarco Airport. Across the aisle, the head of the Jamaica Olympic Association is in pensive thought, as is CANOC secretary general, two seats ahead.
Former CANOC and TTOC secretary general Elton Prescott, senior counsel and member of the CANOC Juridical Commission is ready for his day’s work. The inconvenience is a small price to pay in a collective effort to make a huge difference for Caribbean athletes and the region’s Olympic movement.
Good governance is not a slogan but a deep commitment. But the battle to make good governance the rule rather than the exception has only just begun. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Brian Lewis is president of the T&T Olympic Committee. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the Olympic Committee. Support #10 Golds24 Athlete Welfare and Preparation Fund make your donations to any branch of Scotiabank account number 171188.
Digital gurus urge sporting bodies and clubs to embrace social media
Dan Reed, head of global sports partnerships at Facebook, claimed here that social media companies such as his, as well as Instagram and Snapchat, are going to be “vital” for the future business models of sporting bodies and clubs.
Reed, who was speaking at the Leaders Sport Business Summit 2015, urged organisations to utilise the tools in order to tap into sports fans already using social media and stated that “Facebook has the biggest community of fans in the world”.
Talking to a packed room as part of a session titled “A Winning Combination: Technology Partnerships at the Highest Levels” Reed reflected on the relationships the company have with major sporting leagues around the world.
Local beach v-ballers in Olympic qualifiers
Top local duo Fabien Whitfield and Daneil Williams will start as favourites to secure one of the two places available when the T&T Volleyball Federation stages its beach volleyball national team selection process for the second round of NORCECA Continental Olympic Qualifiers.
The local players will compete in three one-day tournaments, serving off today from 5.30 pm at the National Beach Volleyball Developmental Centre in Saith Park, Chaguanas, at the end of which the top two teams will earn tickets to St Lucia.
Last month, Whitfield and Williams claimed a second ever bronze medal finish on the NORCECA Tour when they placed third at the fifth stop of the Hickory Point Beach Sand Volleyball Complex in Tavares, Florida.
At the first round Caribbean Olympic Qualifiers which were held at Chaguanas, Whitfield and Williams won a “Golden Set” decider against Jamaica top pair of veteran Mark Lewis and Ryck Mc Kenzie 15-12, for a 2-1 T&T team victory.
Williams and Whitfield, who represented T&T at the Pan American Games, had earlier swept aside a visibly injured Donovan Richards and Christopher Walters 21-10, 21-15, for a 1-0 lead.
But Lewis/Mc Kenzie (Jamaica-A) kept alive their hopes of gold when they silenced Abraham Eccles and Tevin Joseph (TTO-B), 21-15, 21-13 to level the tie at 1-1 and set up the “Golden Set” where the host backed by a vociferous home crowd powered their way to victory.
Among the local women’s teams, Pan American Games participants, Ayana Dyette and Malika Davidson will start as favourites to earn tickets to Jamaica.
However, they will face a stern test from the pairs of Shenelle Gordon/Elki Phillip and Apphia Glasgow/La Teisha Joseph, all of whom represented T&T in the Caribbean first-round qualifier of the NORCECA Continental Cup Olympic Qualifiers which were held at Ocho Rios Bay, Jamaica, in May.
Back then the T&T women defeated their Barbadian opponents, 2-1 in their third place playoff via the “Golden Set”, with Glasgow and Joseph beating Shari Matthews and Anicia Wood, 16-14.
Jamaica, which defeated Cayman Islands in the final, along with fifth and sixth-placed finishers Suriname and US Virgin Islands, all earned spots in a second-round tournament of the qualifiers against the top six teams from the Eastern Caribbean zone.
Additionally all who are interested in becoming a beach volleyball coach are invited to attend a meeting at the same venue for 6 pm today.
•For further information, please contact Colin Charles @ 375-1227 or David Thomas @ 356-6792.
Elite athletes in T&T face financial hardships
Athletes can’t be competitive in elite sport without some form of financial support.
Even though many athletes in T&T are amateur in that they don’t earn a living from their sport, their ambition to achieve excellence in their sport demands supreme effort.
The net result is training is full time. In fact it’s not only the athletes. Coaches, administrators and officials at the highest levels of competition are essentially full time.
Being professional in your approach to the various roles and responsibilities is a requirement. Taking extended leave from work in order to prepare for major competitions is more the rule than the exception.