On Wednesday , the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee hosted a one day high level sports business conference on the theme towards Economic Growth and Diversification - Trinidad and Tobago Sport... Rising to the Challenge.

The well attended conference held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel invited as its feature speakers thought leaders and key decision makers from sport, finance, media, technology, investment and government presenting their views on key issues, challenges, insights and proposed solutions.

Photography Courtesy Allan Crane: Kevin Roberts, Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Darryl Smith (middle) and Mr Ephraim Serrette .

Photography Courtesy Allan Crane: Kevin Roberts, Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Darryl Smith (middle) and Mr Ephraim Serrette .

Key Speakers included Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Darryl Smith, Mrs Joan Mendez, Permanent Secretary in Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs, Former Minister of Energy Conrad Enill,Chairman of the Sports Company Michael Phillips,President of Invest TT Raquel Moses,Deputy CEO-Business Generation First Citizens Jason Julien,President of NAAA Ephraim Serette , international Speaker Kevin Roberts, Business women Lisa Ghany and Terri Ann Joseph-Braithwaite, Kurleigh Prescod , VP Technology, Flow TT and Intellectual property lawyer Carla Parris.

History was created as the conference was broadcast live on WISportsTV.

Arising from the deliberations participants noted that there was a need for urgent action on a new paradigm for the sports ecosystem in Trinidad and Tobago in order to leverage the commercial revenue opportunities locally, regionally and globally.

The meeting acknowledged that global trends in the growth of social media platforns, mobile consumption and services create significant opportunities for the Trinidad and Tobago sports practioners.

It was agreed that transforming Trinidad and Tobago as a destination for sports events including regional and Continental single sport championships, Continental ,International Federations General Assemblies and International Federations Elite Training Centres required urgent action.

The TTOC (Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee ) agreed to establish a Think Tank that will review and develop appropriate strategy in respect of finance, investment, communications, event planning, marketing, business development and public relations as it relates to the creation of a private sector focussed business plan for the sports industry. This will contribute towards building a profitable private sector driven Trinidad and Tobago Sports Business Sector by year 2030 .

The consensus is that Trinidad and Tobago can be a niche player in global sports and can use sport to diversify its national resource based economy linking sport to other sectors of tourism while guiding policymakers on strategically spending and investing in sport tourism opportunities of the Trinidad and Tobago product.

It was agreed that building the economic footprint and attracting foreign direct investment into the Trinidad and Tobago sports ecosystem is desirable and efforts to build a stream of revenues from commercial ventures is a priority item.

The meeting was also updated with the decision by the TTOC ( Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee ) to progress the inaugural National Beach Games in 2017 and position Trinidad and Tobago as the Beach Games capital of the Region with Tobago as the Beach Games epicentre.With approximately 20 sports to feature at the inaugural ANOC ( Association of National Olympic Committees ) 2017 World Beach Games in San Diego, USA. The TTOC intends to use the inaugural National Beach Games proposed for 2nd quarter 2017 as a selection showcase.