Finally, we must promote Athletics as a professional option. A path to improved status and significantly increased income-earning capacity.
The second aspect of selling our sport is ensuring that each of our events is transformed into an attractive entertainment package. People love contests. People love results. They love excitement in the competition for top honours in sport. We have to make our sport more entertaining to the spectators at the track and the viewers at home. Unless we can package our Meets into tight, well managed entertainment packages we are doomed.People must know that they will spend a certain amount of time at the stadium and be thoroughly entertained for the entire period. There must be no lapses, no spells of inactivity.
We have watched Table Tennis change the colour of the ball and reduce the number of points in a game. Volleyball has been revived by the introduction of the very entertaining Beach Volleyball variety and the reduction in the number of points as well. Even Cricket has witnessed the appeal, first of the One Day International and now the 20/20 version of the game.
What is our problem in Athletics?
We have to conceptualise ways in which we can bring entertainment to people through the competitions we organize and manage. There is no plausible explanation for Trinidad and Tobago not being a permanent fixture on the Grand Prix calendar of the IAAF. You have the economic resources to host the elite athletes of the world and more particularly of this Caribbean region we call home.
You have committed governmental support of immense proportions and existing and planned facilities. You have a proven track record of hosting regional and international competitions. You have the talented elite athletes enough to do this country proud in such an annual gathering of the best in the Caribbean and the world.
What is the hold up?
The media will only cover attractive events. That is a norm. If they are not at our meets it is because we have failed to attract them to it. That should concern us.
What is your relationship with the media in Trinidad and Tobago?