Putting the party islands of Trinidad and Tobago on the global sport map and getting a bigger piece of the global sport industry pie will require a comprehensive sports ecosystem and giving T&T sport - industry status.

The global sport industry is big business and estimated to generate annual revenue between $400 - 600 billion US dollars. Research papers suggest that on average, the sports industry is growing at a faster pace than global GDP. Industry status will attract corporate investment, foster effective governance, increase opportunities, transparency and accountability.

The various segments of the sports ecosystem will benefit from industry status. By harnessing the potential of T&T sports, ecosystem industry status can be a game changer as opportunities are identified. Change the game and win big. Innovate, create and disrupt the game. The T&T sports ecosystem can’t subscribe to the status quo. It must disrupt if extraordinary success is to be achieved.

What will it take for T&T to be a game changer in the global sport industry? Entrepreneurs think differently than non entrepreneurs. An effectuation process rather than casual at times dominate their thought processes. The sports ecosystem needs to take on an entrepreneurial mindset.

The objective is not to play the game but to change it. There is no better time than now to build brand T&T and the business behind the brand. Let our passion and commitment become stronger than our fears. Throw caution to the wind. Let the Party Islands become a player in the global sports industry market place.

Every day is game day so mental focus is mission critical — just as this country’s elite athletes —game changing means consciously making the commitment to performing at the highest level. Going for gold in the global sports industry. Adversity allows people to shine and grow, gain experience, confidence in their abilities and capacity and it brings out the best in them.

The paradigm shift will take place as the growth mindset and entrepreneurship culture takes hold. Tomorrow the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) 2016 sports marketing and business of sport conference with the theme Economic Growth and Diversification: Trinidad and Tobago Sport Rising to the Challenge, will take centre stage at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Kevin Roberts, Founding Editor of Sport Business International will deliver the key note address. Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Darryl Smith will share his thoughts on sports’ role in Economic Diversification. Through out the day high profile speakers will provide thought provoking insights and views in an interactive question and answer format with participants.

Having taken up the gauntlet of achieving 10 or more Olympic gold medals by 2024, the TTOC is moving beyond 2024 and has now set its sights on championing and advocating for the development of a multi billion T&T dollar net foreign exchange earning sports industry by the year 2030.

• Brian Lewis is president of the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC). The views expressed are not necessarily those of the Olympic Committee. Support #10 Golds24 Athlete Welfare and Preparation Fund. Donations can be made at any branch of Scotiabank account number 171188.