?With the right sport policy, Tobago can consistently compete with larger countries on the world stage. That's the view of Annette Knott, Secretary General of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee. Knott was speaking during last week's stakeholder consultation on the review of the Tobago Sport Policy, which took place from August 27-28 at the Lowlands Community Centre, Tobago.
The consultation, hosted by the Division of Education, Youth Affairs and Sport, featured several key interest groups, including the Ministry of Sport, sporting organisations and personnel across the island.Knott said Tobago has shown tremendous athletic potential despite having a small population of 60,000.
The event atracted over five dozen participants from a large cross-section of sporting disciplines from the sister isle which include - the Paradise hockey Club, Tobago Hotel Association, Soren Bishop of SSFL, FCB sports Foundation–Catherine Forde, Ainsly King of the YMCA, Brandon Gray–Leeward Golf Association, Tobago Netball League–Ruthlyn Antoine and Kieron McDougal of the Tobago Basketball Association.
Technical Director of the Division's Department of Sport Justin Latapy-George called for a collaborative approach to take Tobago forward. "The consultation speaks to where we want to go, to have critical feedback from the stakeholders and to guide the process forward inclusive of implementation and periodic evaluation," Latapy-George stated.
Tyrone J Marcus, the attoney for the Ministry of Sport and facilitator of the event acknowledged that the Sport policy needs to deal with the Tobago-specific issues, to ensure the desired development takes place.
Assistant Secretary with direct responsibility for Sports, Assemblyman Jomo Pitt during the consultation voiced that the "ideal pathway for Tobago athletes to perform at the national and international level has to be predictable and transparent. This leads to better accountability of both the local and national governing bodies."
The current draft of the policy includes four areas; development, community participation, facility management and the link between the Tobago Sport Policy and the National Sport Policy. Implementation of the policy is expected to begin next year.