JOA boss Samuda calls for national business sport policy


JOA boss Samuda calls for national business sport policy

Observer writer

Friday, January 22, 2021

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At a time when most sports have been grounded to a halt on the island, president of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) Christopher Samuda has called for a national business sport policy.

Since the islandwide shutdown last March, only a few sports have been allowed to return by the Government, and most in limited form.

And even while the call for other sports to be allowed to return have fallen on deaf ears, Samuda has insisted there is an urgent need for a national policy focused on the business of sports.

Speaking at the launch of Jamaica's newest athletics club, Legacy Athletics Limited on Wednesday, Samuda emphasised the need for a coming together in the nation's best interests.

“There must be a national business sport policy that coalesces various stakeholders' interests into a unified administrative and commercial strategy for growth and development. There must be in that policy measurable and time-bound deliverables relating to infrastructure and facility development using international benchmarks.

“Deliverables relating to coaching and technical capacity-building. Deliverables relating to the application of the sport sciences in enhancing optimally athletes' performances. Deliverables relating to the monetisation of assets as part of a revenue generation model.

“Deliverables in securing and safeguarding capital and financing in ensuring that the objectives and goals of the national plan are funded. Deliverables in the engagement of the requisite managerial expertise and competencies to take charge of the vision and mission for the right man and woman must be in the right job.

“Victory cannot be achieved if the wrong man or woman is in the right job,” he stated.

Legacy Athletics Limited (LAL) was launched at the Jamaica Baptist Union Centre and will be housed at the Calabar High School which is situated at 61 Red Hills Road. A number of former Calabar High school standouts such as Tyreke Wilson, Dejour Russell and Orlando Bennett make up the core of the new club.

Samuda has charged the founders of Legacy Athletics to live up to the motto of the school where they intend to present their new product to the world.

“You must be the message not the messenger. You must be the portrait and not the photographer who looks through the prism in discerning the portrait. And what is this message which Legacy Athletics Jamaica will embody?

“What is the message that you, athletes, must impart for the benefit of your generation and successive generations. What is the heartfelt message that tells of honour and greatness?

“This microcosm of athleticism which you, Karl, Andrea, Yvette, Albert, Omar, Jacqueline and Phillip, have now created for athletes must incorporate and epitomise what I refer to as the 'properties of Olympism' — the message, the characteristics that define and are defining of your being as a sport management company.

“And we come right back home, back to base, back to the integrity and humanitarianism of the founding fathers of Calabar — theologians Ernest Price and David Davis, whose legacy is the construct of education, sport and value at 61 Red Hills Road which houses 'The Utmost for the Highest' And that declaration — the 'Utmost for the Highest' — encapsulates the message which must reside in Legacy Athletics Jamaica,” Samuda said.

The JOA head challenged them to live up to their name and do the things required to leave a lasting impression and a “legacy” on Jamaica's glorious athletics landscape.

“This must be your red corpuscles, the marrow of your bone, the epidermis of your vessels, the very blood in your veins, the entrails of the body of Legacy Athletics. Once this becomes your raison d'etre, the reason for which you train, compete and live your life, your being, in sport, then victory will be the reality of your world. Victory, a word often spoken yet seldom understood.

“Victory, often a feeling momentarily when it should be an experience which informs character beyond the occurrence of the event. If victory is to become a DNA life experience in sport for Jamaica and not an intermission, what must there be, what must we do?” Samuda quizzed.

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