Things That Matter Column Tuesday 6th February

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Last week at the Siga Sport Integrity Forum in Rome - there was a lot of candid discussion about sport governance and the importance of governance on the integrity of sport.

This came against a background of the Larry Masser sex abuse scandal and the seemingly never ending Russian doping situation.

It's proving to be a very challenge period for global sport.

The legitimacy of sport leaders is under significant public scrutiny.

The question many are asking is when willl it end and what will it take to bring an end to the incessant negativity .

In Rome , the Sport Integrity Global Alliance Forum devoted significant time discussing the many views and opinions put forward.

A common theme no matter  the views expressed is the need for greater diversity and inclusion at the top of the table of global sport governance.

Two specific areas highlighted were gender and racial diversity. That there is a need for both gender and racial diversity should be obvious but for different reasons it's not an easy conversation.

Certainly here in Trinidad and Tobago the triumvirate of powerful women - President -elect Paula Mae Weekes , House Speaker Brigid Annisette George and Senate President Christine Kangaloo are a clear signal and sign post of progress not just for women but the republic of Trinidad and Tobago. As President-elect retired Judge Paula Mae Weekes said when presented with her Instrument of Election - We have three women in the room. "Without tokenism, we have women holding high offices and discharging them."

In presenting the instrument, House Speaker Annisette-George affirmed when  thanking President-Elect Weekes : "Your election to many,many young women shows women can achieve anything."

It's an important and necessary step in the development of Trinidad and Tobago that women accept the challenge of leadership.

The same can be said about global  and local sport governance. More women must come forward and take up the challenge. Against the back ground of the colossal governance  failure and collapse of many organisations .

The consequences in most cases are borne by the youth and young people and future generations.

Radical reform and transformation require a different mindset and way of thinking.

It's not to say that more women in leadership will be a magic wand that solves all our social and governance problems.

But certainly they can only do better than what is in reality the male dominated leadership and governance failure across many local and international organisations and institutions.

Diversity and inclusion is an imperative.