Step on it!Trevor Browne. (FP)
By Sherrylyn A. Toppin | Wed, September 12, 2012 - 12:05 AM
Despite an abundance of talent, highly trained officials and funding from the lottery, Barbados’ sporting performances on the international scene appear to be declining rather than improving.
And with an aim of turning around the national fortunes and effecting a major change in the cultural perception of sport, Lt. Co.l Trevor Browne is stepping forward to challenge for the presidency of the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA).
Browne, president of the Barbados Table Tennis Association, told MIDWEEKSPORT one of the major problems affecting the development of sport was leadership.
He will be opposing incumbent Steve Stoute who has held the position for the last 16 years.
“It is very clear that there is a lot of potential for sport. I think sport in Barbados could be a major thing,” said Browne, the two-time chef de mission at the Commonwealth Youth Games.
“There are many other jurisdictions that have bigger financial problems than we have and do very well. Not only are we not performing, but our national performance in sports seems to be declining. So I actually strongly feel that the problem is one of management and leadership and I think the time is ripe for something to be done about that.”
Browne has been a member of the board of directors of the BOA since 2004. He has a masters degree in sports management and almost 20 years in sports administration. In addition, he was the founding chairman of Co-operators General Insurance and founding president of both the Light & Power Credit Union and the Reddy Kilowatt Co-operative Society.
Browne has been a professional engineer at the Barbados Light & Power Company since 1976. He has also served as president of the Barbados Association of Professional Engineers and has been commandant of the Barbados Cadet Corps since 2004.
He said things can’t continue in the same vein and Barbados expect to reap success against countries which have a clear development structure.
“I think the president [Stoute] said basically what we do is try to provide administrative support, provide financing and hope that another Oba[dele Thompson, Olympic bronze medallist] turns up,” Browne said.
“Nobody else in the world does that. Everywhere else in the world, even in very small jurisdictions, the approach is to actively go out there and identify talent at an early stage; and having found that talent, to put things in place to groom them; to channel them in the right direction, to provide the necessary support and to start building Olympic champions from age six and seven, eight and nine.”
Browne said an athlete like Thompson came around “probably once every 50 years”.
He has a long-term plan which would see athletes being identified at an early age and being channelled through the system until young adulthood, by which time they should be at world class level.
“Nobody is waiting to be lucky to find someone like Oba, for example, who happened to have the talent, happened to be highly intelligent, happened to have the kind of parents who would support and go out of their way to overcome all of the hurdles, [and] happened to go to the right school where he came across the right kind of coaches. That is just luck. The chance of that happening is probably once every 50 years,” Browne said.
“What modern management calls for is a proactive approach to discover the talent and then put it in the right position with the right opportunities to make sure there is an Oba every year or two, or maybe even three or four per year.”
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