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JOA boosts sport platform with advanced management course

Monday, September 28, 2020

In its drive to make sport and its governance increasingly successful and marketable, the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) continues to improve the capabilities of stakeholders by utilising educational platforms, specific in this instance to the recently-concluded advance sport management course.

The six-module course is offered on behalf of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) under its Olympic Solidarity Programme for capacity-building to member states globally. Importantly, it is a professional diploma course in advanced sport management. Also, it is not designed to be a replacement or a substitute for the basic sports administration course for national federations.

"The advanced sports management course is one of the main avenues within which the JOA has advanced our educational perspective and our mandate to create opportunities for all to embrace the advancements made in sport and the various roles we are playing in the process of change management,” said Ryan Foster, the JOA's general secretary/CEO.

He added: “Our eyes should be not only focused on the things that are tenuous, but things that can enhance the way we deliver sports administration and the overall sport product.”

The course is designed for staff and volunteers of national federations and other bodies responsible for sport development in their country. Participants are drawn from senior level in the management of their organisation, or those who have responsibility for managing projects in their organisation.

It is essential that participation be fully supported by senior/executive staff of the respective sporting bodies, to ensure the mandate that participants apply the course content to their sport.

Netball Jamaica President Tricia Robinson, who participated, commented: “The advanced sports management course offered by the JOA allowed for the increased ability of persons to be able to respond more effectively to change. Participants would have been able to gain skill sets to allow them to undertake a greater variety of work in their respective sporting bodies.”

Robinson added: “Utilising expert personnel from the varying industries (marketing, accounts) and having them share one-on-one and giving first-hand experiences was priceless.”

Advanced courses are based on the supplied text Managing Olympic Sport Organsations and are to comprise all six modules/chapters in the text, meaning that participants must participate in every module as part of the course requirements.

Each chapter or module of the book is composed of five days, which includes three distance-learning days (reading the chapter and completing a small case study) and two residential days (general presentation and discussion of the chapter on the first day; and presentation of case study on the second day.

Each course can be conducted over a 12-month period. There are, however, options which permit a shorter time frame, as the case with the JOA's latest advanced sport management course, which was covered over nine months, beginning in October 2019.

Sports management consultant and course presenter, Paulton Gordon, reasoned that “ultimately, the growth and development of the sporting sector in Jamaica will be contingent on improved governance, strategic planning, execution and administration.

“The advanced sports management module organised by the JOA provides that platform for a cadre of administrators affiliated with local sporting bodies.”

Gordon, who is also president of the Jamaica Basketball Association, added: “It is important that the national federations capitalise on this opportunity as the modules offered are aligned to what obtains in the international space and is consistently updated to reflect current realities.”

A total of 24 personnel participated in the last exercise, an increase of seven from the 2017-2018 group. Among the disciplines that benefited from this latest instalment were aquatics, badminton, basketball, gymnastics, netball, track and field, rugby, hockey, table tennis, and the Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA).

"Sport not only impacts lives, but it also impacts livelihoods. This, of course, is a critical deliverable of this new administration, as we see it as a way we can continue the professionalism of sport and the reach we can have,” noted Foster.

“We are big on the wholesome athlete, coach and administrator, but also on sport journalism. All areas have a critical role to play in how sport is administered and delivered to the various stakeholders,” he further assessed.

"The advanced sports management course is just one of the many ways we are changing the landscape of the traditional ways of delivering service to our stakeholders, as it follows immediately after the successful launch of both our JOA Internship Programme, as well as our JOA Scholarship Programme.

“In the coming months we will be launching our landmark Crowd Funding Project — geared towards the Tokyo Games — and the planning process has started,” said Foster. “We will officially launch this project shortly."

Also on the horizon is the next staging of the advanced sport management course, which is set to begin in November and run through to May in 2021.