In 2005, during a Stanford graduation ceremony speech, Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, told the audience: “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” His message? Don’t settle, don’t be afraid to take risks. Don’t be afraid to be daring and ambitious! Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
The contemporary world whose purchase of choice is the newest smart phone or software and emerging nations with new found spending power are redefining what sport means. Part of the new attitude to sport is the digital transformation—a world where it seems you are only as good as your internet connection.
The sheer talent, promise and potential of the nation’s youth and young people as represented by our athletes is simply breathtaking but you have to watch and pay close attention. In pursuit of their dream, in striving for excellence, our Olympic and Commonwealth athletes endure punishing hours of training and the arduous task of endless repetition.
Often their inspiration, dedication, resilience, commitment and self-discipline go unnoticed. Through sport, our talented sons and daughters break boundaries on the global platform that is the Olympic, Commonwealth and other multi-sport games.
For us at the Olympic Committee, we remain indomitable and passionate in our belief that the goal of the movement to use sport to educate and serve young people, is as relevant today as it was 2000 plus years ago.
One thing is certain: When we engage children and young people and reach out to them to bring them to sport, to show them the power of sport and the Olympic values, we must ensure that their inspirational role models our athletes are at the centre of what we do and why we do what we do.
Moreover, it is essential that we meet the integrity challenge by protecting Olympic and Commonwealth sports from the dangerous threat posed by doping, gambling, the cycle of corruption and poor governance.
If we don’t face these challenges our right to self-regulate, our autonomy, legitimacy our stewardship will be taken away from us. To whom much is given much is expected.
Therefore, I propose that the TTOC will continue to vigorously promote the adoption of good governance and ethics across the country’s Olympic and Commonwealth Sport movement and that we be unwavering and advocate and vigorously promote a good governance code for sport in T&T and ensure that affiliated NSOs align with the Olympic Charter and include in their constitutions basic universal principles of good governance.
The TTOC must lead from the front in championing for the development of a sport industry. This will require not just lobbying and finger pointing but the articulation of the conceptual framework that will inform the policy debate.
Our collective challenge is to take sport mainstream. Sport is still on the margins of T&T society. The children, youth and young people have a lot of different interests that present a threat to active sport and healthy lifestyles.
The responsibility to create and shape a bright sustainable future for tomorrow’s athletes and for sport on the whole falls to our generation of sport leaders, administrators, athletes and coaches. We have to modernise how we market, promote and brand Olympic and Commonwealth sport and the Olympic and Commonwealth values and ideals to the current and future generation of public, media and corporate audiences.
The climb is steep. The hurdles are high. It is a challenge we must accept. It is a dream we must live and honour. Failure is not an option. There is no excuse. Let us fear not nor impose limits on ourselves.
Let us unite under the tent of our shared values and vision for sport and arm in arm walk our talk and be the change we want to see in doing so let us accept the advice of the late Steve Jobs and Stay hungry, Stay foolish.