JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Spirited debate from students of Kingston College, Wolmer’s Boys and the Hydel Group of Schools, marked the opening of the Collegiate Forum.
  • The forum was an investment in the youth, the world’s greatest resource, and one which demands tremendous inputs of money, time and energy.
  • Business of Sport Partner, Milton Samuda, said when the conference was conceived it was thought that the educational aspect of it was the most critical.

Spirited debate from students of Kingston College, Wolmer’s Boys and the Hydel Group of Schools, marked the opening of the Collegiate Forum of the Business of Sport International Conference.

Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, who was the keynote speaker at the April 30 event, said the forum was an investment in the youth, the world’s greatest resource, and one which demands tremendous inputs of money, time and energy.

“More importantly, it is an investment, the dividends of which are inestimable, in value and it is recurrent. Each year that this forum is staged, it is a reinvestment in a generation of potential leaders,” he said.

He urged the participants not to lose sight of the value of a constructive exchange of ideas and robust debate.

“It is in the friction of good thoughts and ideas that we will have growth, and it is in the building of consensus and the synergy of action, that we will collectively fulfill the mission as a nation,” Minister Hylton said.

He added that the forum facilitates the meeting of some of the finest minds, in a commercial and business context, as “we strive to understand the imperatives of the worldwide multi-billion dollar sport industry, and take advantage of innumerable opportunities that can be monetized.”

“Sport is just one business index, but it is such an integral part of community development and national identity, that its reach goes beyond the commercial gains. Sport, in essence, characterizes the DNA of a people and you see for yourself the sense of national unity during the Olympics and major sporting events,” the Minister said.

He also pointed to the importance of education, noting that it is a continuing investment which, as a country, “we have to make in constructing a nation of functioning, relevant and transforming minds which can contribute to the global economy.”

Business of Sport Partner, Milton Samuda, said when the conference was conceived it was thought that the educational aspect of it was the most critical.

“We wanted to open the minds of professionals, businessmen to the possibilities that reside in this industry called sport. Yes it is part of the leisure industry internationally, but it is very businesslike in its organization, and if we in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean fail to grasp that, we are going to make the same mistake in relation to sports that we made in relation to music,” Mr. Samuda said.

This year’s conference is being held under the theme ‘Transform the Game, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston.

At the end of the forum, the team from Wolmer’s won the debating segment over Kingston College and Hydel for the second year in succession. Judges for this year’s competition were Communication Specialist, Joan Andrea Hutchinson; Trinidadian Olympian and Broadcaster, Ato Boldon; and Caymanian Sporting Personality and Politician, Bernie Bush.

The Collegiate Forum was inaugurated last year with a business debate in which schools competed for the coveted Business of Sport Trophy and awards.