PRESIDENT OF the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC) Brian Lewis believes the regional Olympic movement must embrace the digital revolution to remain relevant to the youth and young people of the region.
During his virtual address in celebration of CANOC Day’s 17th anniversary on July 31, Lewis noted that the covid19 pandemic has accelerated digital transformation.
To adapt and fulfill its potential as the Caribbean sporting body, Lewis, who is also the TT Olympic Committee (TTOC) president, views adopting a digital mindset will unearth new opportunities, next generation solutions and also present a fresh way for assessing long-standing challenges.
“2020 and the global pandemic provides context for transformation. Digitisation, digitalisation and technology can create economic and financial opportunities for young people in sport. Leveraging digitalisation to improve the sport environment should be a priority,” Lewis stated.
According to the CANOC head, changing spending patterns are now pushing companies to e-commerce and digitalisation, and the region’s economy is already being impacted by the change in consumer behaviour.
The economic and financial landscape has become more competitive and fast-forwarded the acceleration of newer technologies. Lewis is certain the region’s digital transformation would, in fact, generate greater business-to-business e-commerce, online payments and mobile e-commerce.
During his feature address, the TTOC boss also called on Caribbean sporting leaders to put the interest of athletes and sport ahead of their personal self-interest and ambition.
As the region’s Olympic leader, Lewis reminded member associations to not allow self-interest and sport politics to supersede the best interest of the youth. Even in this regard, he believes technology and digital transformation also serves as a platform to guarantee administrative transparency.
“I believe that digitalisation can enhance good governance, transparency and accountability. The importance of addressing systemic racism, racial discrimination and inequalities in international sport and the Olympic movement.
“The economic, social and financial opportunities that international sport provides to youth must not be denied because Caribbean sport leaders are comfortable pursuing self-interest and personal ambition at the expense of our region’s athletes. If the leaders fail to learn from history, we will repeat the evils of colonialism and slavery,” he added.
Lewis reminded CANOC’s 29-member community to focus on 2021 and unite to empower the strength of a shared vision and goal.
He closed, “Why are some global athletes able to leverage the economic and financial benefits and opportunities while others do not or cannot, speaks to a deeper conversation and understanding of how we in the Caribbean have been socialised.”