Minister with responsibility for Sports, Hon. Natalie Neita-Headley said that Jamaica should seek to capitalise on the business opportunities presented by the success of the country’s athletes.
"Jamaica must not only be exemplary on the field of play but be a leader, a model in the business of sport,” she said, while addressing a sport symposium on July 18 at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston.
The Minister stated that “in this the year of our Golden Jubilee, the Olympic and Paralympic Games, we must comprehend the power of our sport history and heritage. We must understand and grasp the priceless lessons and opportunities of today so that our tomorrows will enlighten our days to come."
She went on to commend the organisers for putting on the symposium on the topic: ‘Play by the Rules,’ noting that it “provides a glorious opportunity for forging partnerships for change. It offers a platform for consensus and united action”.
The symposium was staged by Strategic Corporate Interventions in Partnership with the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) and law firm Samuda and Johnson, to discuss critical issues relating to intellectual property, the rules of the International Olympic Committee and the derivative rights of the Jamaica Olympic Association. It also looked at media rights and the viability of sport associations.
Managing Partner, Samuda and Johnson and Director, Strategic Corporate Interventions, Milton Samuda, said the aim of the symposium was to “put in context the various rights of the various players in this burgeoning industry we call sport and to highlight that against the background of the pending London Olympics”.
President of JOA, Hon. Mike Fennell, said it is critical that “we attempt to clarify, explain, inform as best as possible the rules of the game and the rules that will apply during this Olympic period”.
"I’m hoping we will end up with a much clearer understanding of the rules that have to be applied to whether it be advertising, congratulatory messages or just simply relating to what is taking place in the media and the commercial world,” he said.
He said Jamaica is a big player on the world scene when it comes to sport “and people are watching us”, noting that it is therefore critical “that we understand the rules of the game and we understand how to play by the rules and why we have to play by the rules”.
By Alecia Smith-Edwards, JIS Reporter