That’s the view of President of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC), Brian Lewis.
Lewis said it was time for entrepreneurship in sport to become a serious part of the policy discourse, and questioned why Trinidad and Tobago had failed to leverage the potential opportunities created by the outstanding achievements of athletes and teams on the global stage.
“Why are we continuing to leave billions of dollars on the table? Unlike other countries that seek to diversify their economy, why is sport as an industry not taken seriously here on the twin-island republic? As we talk about net foreign exchange, as we talk about employment generation, why are we not embracing the opportunity?”
Lewis was delivering opening remarks during the 3rd Annual TTOC Sport Industry TT Conference at the Hyatt Regency this morning.
He said the difficult economic times could become the catalyst for the development of local entrepreneurship in sport as the days of ‘begging for handouts’ are over.
“We need to move sport, and the discussion surrounding sport in Trinidad and Tobago from the baby bird approach where we sit in the nests with our mouths open, waiting for momma bird to drop food. We must embrace the reality of the concept and have the confidence to be apex predators.”
Lewis’ comments set the tone for the Conference which was held under the theme ‘Youth, Young People and Women: Raising Awareness and Encouraging Entrepreneurship’.
Participants engaged in riveting discussions led by a cross section of experts and entrepreneurs in business, finance, sport, law, media and entertainment. The four key topics areas were ‘Creating an Entrepreneurial Eco-System in Trinidad and Tobago’; ‘The Political and Legal Environment that Fosters Entrepreneurships’; ‘How Do Potential Lenders and Investors Evaluate the Business Plan?’; and ‘Creating Human Connections That Build Brands and Drive Growth’.