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Where there is smoke, there is fire

Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Things that Matter

Sport is all about pushing yourself to become the best. It’s about striving for excellence but doing so within an ethical and moral framework that has integrity as the cornerstone. 


Sport and sports events present an ongoing challenge for the simple reason that without people and the involvement of people there is no sport. You are constantly dealing with all manner of people and issues that at any one moment in time can impact positively or negatively individuals and their reputations.


Organisations are made up of people, and once you have a group of people complications can arise.


Discussions and debates focus a lot about the content of sport at the expense of context.


Vested interests come into play. Understanding the realities of planning and delivery matter.


Embracing new ways of working and new ways of thinking can be sacrificed at the altar of vested interests.


We have become excellent at focusing on the wrong problem missing in the process the context of what exactly is the root cause or the core issue.


Sound decision making is based on accurate information especially in an environment where sport has to work very hard to attract the support it needs.


As we look ahead to a new year. How do we create the environment that will allow successful achievement?


2014 is going to be a significant year for national sport organisations, their athletes, coaches and teams. There are three major events under the authority of the TTOC. They are Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland and the Central America and Caribbean Games in Vera Cruz, Mexico.


For the athletes and national teams eyeing podium success Christmas and Carnival reprensent or should represent a distraction.


Alcohol, over eating and training down time is a detriment and may well prove the difference between success and failure.


How can you sustain the required focus and self-discipline? The answer is a simple on. How high a value do you place on podium success?


At the end of the day the will power to make the sacrifices that are part and parcel of elite level sport can best be sustained if it comes from inner motivation.


How do you rise above the grind and self-denial?


It must come from within.


There are days the urge to seek the safety of ordinary is compelling. At times it seems that it’s more acceptable to be ordinary rather than extraordinary.


When there is progress there is energy, in the face of a perception of little progress energy gets drained.


For many national sports organisations, there is the perception that 2013 was a year of lost opportunity.


For many who aren’t afraid to face the hard truth, there is the conviction that more could have been and should have been achieved. There are those who if pressed would suggest that there is the sense that a lot of progress was really illusionary rather than real and tangible.


The reasons vary and are very much dependent on the overriding perception of content rather than context.


Ask the same question to different stakeholders the common thread is a perception of corruption and a lack of integrity.


It is a draining experience to be asked to make tough decisions and sacrifices against a background of gossip and rumours of corruption in a myriad of forms.


As the year 2013 draws to a close one can only hope that somehow those who are contributing to the perception of corruption and a lack of integrity will mend their ways and change their conduct in 2014.


There is a saying where there is smoke there is fire.


Brian Lewis is the President of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC). The views expressed are not necessarily those of the TTOC. For more information about the IOC, TTOC and the Olympic Games visit


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