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JOA creating reservoir of opportunities for stakeholders

In June 2017, when the Christopher Samuda-led governing body for Olympic and non-Olympic sports assumed office, the mantra was and continues to be “it will be business unusual” which has become the way of life at its corporate office at Olympic Manor at 9 Cunningham Avenue, Kingston.

Once again, the national association will be making a call for chefs de mission and managers for regional and international games which fall under its jurisdiction, a welcomed move which it first made in 2017 in order to create a wealth of opportunities for persons to serve in national capacities while gaining the amazing experience of a multi-sport festival of talent and prowess.

Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) President Christopher Samuda recently re-affirmed the administration’s policy: “The delivery of games is a professional and business undertaking and an experience that should be afforded to those who want and have the commitment and expertise to contribute to a legacy that is not owned by the few.”

The apex body will soon be advertising managerial positions for games up to 2025 which is a deliverable under its Games Policy and a professional endeavour of any modern sporting body.

Ryan Foster, JOA secretary general/CEO and chairman of the Games Commission, said: “We at the JOA are dedicated to creating opportunities, exposing talent in serving the nation and maintaining for our athletes a professional environment which encourages excellence in character and performance.”

Applicants will customarily provide professional profiles and references but notably will complete online a robust self-evaluation form that will form part of what will be a very interactive appraisal. Those applicants who are short-listed will then be requested to make a presentation to, and be interviewed by, a selection panel.

“I am encouraging sporting bodies to adopt this culture of governance, which the Paralympic Association pioneered in 2015, in opening the doors wide to the sporting fraternity and admit those who will leave their mark on the international stage,” Foster said.

In giving a timely reminder to stakeholders, Secretary General Foster said: “Forward planning is an essential activity of any successful business and sport is a business of strategic and logistic deliverables and outcomes and the work doesn’t begin yesterday for today’s event but, as is our experience, years before.”

Availing sport, in games management, of the requisite competencies in developing the infrastructure is part of the reservoir of opportunities the JOA continues to provide stakeholders.

“We continue to focus on and invest in coaches across disciplines in building technical expertise and capacity and our active call this year for subscribers to the Pan Am High Performance Coaches Course saw over 70 registrants for we understand that a critical part of the business of games management is the skill sets and application of professional personnel,” stated Foster.

The script has been written and, in sporting terms, the wicket has been set by the JOA. And although not reinventing the wheel in international sport governance and best practices, Jamaica’s governing sport institution has certainly set a formidable precedent which is worthy of emulation by local stakeholders as well regional and international interests.

Samuda makes the suggestion: “The wheel of fortune in sport will inevitably spin and you can determine its mark if you programme it early and wisely.”

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