Sports in the Caribbean is not being developed due to the lack of qualified sports administrators, says recently retired director of the National Sports Council, Erskine King.
“Sports management has been around for a long time but only in this region has it been recently recognized or acknowledged as an academic pursuit,” the former Barbados cricketer said as he presented the feature address at the Barbados Cricket Association Awards Ceremony at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre on Friday night.
King stated that sports administration was important to the progress and development of sports and could inject huge sums of money into the struggling economies of the Caribbean.
The former national wicket-keeper posited the view that sports organizations could not elect administrators in the same way they were elected previously.
“We can no longer elect people to the executive of sport bodies because they are the loudest or talk the most at meetings, or are one of the boys or very popular. Administration of sports has changed from what it was years ago and will continue to do so,” King said.
He told his audience that in this era sports administrators must not only be capable of planning events but must be competent in law, finance, accounting and marketing.
King stressed that if an administrator did not have these skills then the organization he or she led would have to pay for them.
The man who led the NSC for 17 years said that sports administrators must show compassion, be able to earn the trust of those around them and be willing to challenge the status quo when the need arose.
“Leaders must be able to manage transition and supervise change and have a clear understanding of history to appreciate the present. Those of you who are looking to take over the mantle of leadership should not be afraid of what happened in the past or your personal setback,” King said.
“Setbacks must only be seen as a temporary setbacks. The most successful people and organizations in the world have had setbacks. The ideal is to learn from those mistakes,” he added.
During the ceremony St Catherine’s Kenroy Williams copped the award for the most outstanding cricketer in 2013 having scored 608 runs at an average of 50.66, and captured 37 wickets with his off-spin; LIME’s Ashley Nurse got the Garfield Sobers Award for the best all-rounder in both the Sagicor Twenty20 and Sagicor Super Cup tournaments; Deandra Dottin got the award for the most outstanding female cricketer; Jofra Archer of Foundation won the most improved youth cricketer; Jerome Jones, also of Foundation, won the President’s Award; Akeem Springer of Spartan won the award for the most improved male cricketer; and Shanika Bruce of Pat Whittaker Pride won the Most Improved Female Cricketer award.