The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) have hosted a one day sports business conference titled “Trinidad and Tobago Sport - Rising to the Challenge”, which was aimed at discussing economic growth and diversification.

Broadcast live on WISportsTV, the conference was attended by key decision makers in the sport, finance, media and technology sectors, while several government leaders and investors were also present.

Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Darryl Smith and Joan Mendez, Permanent Secretary in Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs, were among the key speakers at the event.

One of the main outcomes of the conference was that urgent action was required to turn Trinidad and Tobago into a destination for sports events, including regional and continental single sport championships.

The ambition would also be for the country to become a host of general assemblies held by major organisations and International Federations.

A move to create a new model for the sporting sector in the country was among the ideas suggested, as they seek to take advantage of potential commercial opportunities both regionally and on a global basis.

The TTOC agreed to create a think tank to develop a strategy taking into account areas such as finance, investment, communications, event planning and marketing to create a business plan for the sports industry.

It is hoped that sport will be able to contribute towards building a profitable private sector driven by the Trinidad and Tobago Sports Business Sector by 2030.

The conference attendees also agreed that the country could become a niche player in global sports and can use sport to boost its economy, which is predominately reliant on natural resources, by linking sport to tourism.

Another focus was for the sports industry to take more advantage of the growth of social media platforms and mobile consumption.

The TTOC also provided attendees with an update on the inaugural National Beach Games in 2017, which they are aiming to use as a selection event for the inaugural Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) World Beach Games later that year in San Diego.