Posted on

Task for NSC


PHILIP HACKETT

Task for NSC

Social Share
Share

A total change of approach is needed if Barbados hopes to move sport from amateur to professional status.
This view was put forward by former netball administrator Veneisha Cadogan as she spoke from the floor at the Nation Talkback session at Solidarity House last Wednesday.
Cadogan was addressing the topic, How Do We Transform Sports In Barbados From The Amateur Status To Professional Level.
The former president of the Barbados Netball Association also argued that the National Sports Council (NSC) needed to take a leading role in the drive towards making national associations more effective, thus paving the way for professionalism.
“The NSC has to play a bigger role. It should not be that organizations have to ask the sports council for help,” Cadogan said.
“Where is the sports development officer and the sports development manager attached to the sports council who will do research and development; who will look at things like talent identification which is at the bedrock of developing sports persons. Where are those people attached to the sports council at this point?” she queried.
“The sports federations that we have must be accountable. Yes, there must be autonomy but they must be accountable.
“So it means that there must be a sports council that sees that these associations do the things that they do even with their autonomy because they are volunteers and they may not have the skills.”
The education officer for physical education in the Ministry of Education was also critical of the little emphasis placed on physical education which she believes is critical to the foundation of sports development.
“What is the message Government sends to our students about sports? Check today’s (Wednesday’s) paper. Look at the national development scholarships. Where is sports science? Where is sports psychology? Where is the degree in physical education at the University of the West Indies? And I am not talking about the master’s in cricket,” Cadogan said.
“I am sorry but I have a problem with a master’s in cricket and you can’t do a bachelor’s in PE. So you can zero in on one sport but you can’t look at the broad base of physical education which is the bedrock of the sport,” she said to loud applause from the audience.
“If you put some of the cricketers to dance they can’t dance. And that’s one of the reasons why they can’t do the little footwork movement to approach the ball.
“I am not a cricketer but I am talking as a person in phys ed. They don’t have the rhythm and the balance and the coordination because they never learnt it down there (primary school).
“But then we are focusing on making them into elite athletes and professionals. That’s something that we need to look at. The mindset must change.”
The president of the Barbados Table Tennis Association, Lieutenant Colonel Trevor Browne, said that it could not be left to sporting federations to take Barbados toward professionalism in sport.
“It is not possible to move from amateur operation to professional operation unless you are moving to professional management,”?he argued.
“Even in sophisticated organizations with access to professional management it is a challenge to behave professionally in this current world. It is impossible to do it with amateur management.”
Noting that the credit union movement was successful in moving from amateur status to its current profession state, the veteran sports administrator expressed confidence sport could achieve the same.
“Volunteers still work largely in the credit union movement but what has changed is that standards were implemented and enforced.
“Some credit unions had to close, but the operations of all the credit unions improved by bringing volunteers in who were capable and motivated to operate at the standard needed for professional management. This is what needs to happen to sport.”  
Keith Yearwood, president of the Barbados Cycling Union, highlighted the problems faced by athletes who have to mix training with full-time jobs while facing other challenges such as inadequate training facilitiesand lack of finance for overseas training.
He also felt that while it was up to the individual to be motivated towards success certain structures need to be in place to provide the opportunity.
“There is no such thing as motivating anybody. Let me start with that. Motivation comes from within and if you don’t motivate yourself you will never get anywhere. So don’t let the coach fool you that you can motivate anybody,” Yearwood said in response to earlier comments from the floor.
He also spoke of the need for associations to have an administrative base and recommended the building that housed the now defunct Louis Lynch Secondary as a good option.

LAST NEWS