Preserve the values of sport - Fennell
Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) president Mike Fennell demits office today after 45 years in the role. Speaking a day ahead of the election that will name his successor, he reckons the new president will need to preserve the values of sport, continue to improve the management of the JOA member sport associations and to encourage volunteerism.
Fennell says the new president will find a solid base to build on.
"First of all, there's a legacy, physical and financial and so which is a solid base," he reflected. "They (new president) don't have to scramble around for that."
Impact of sport
He worries that commercialisation could erode the impact of sport on society.
"Over commercialisation has caused some of those values to disappear or not to become important but if the values disappear so does sport in terms of its importance to society", Fennell imparted.
"The other thing is that we need to continue improvement of each of the sports federations or associations", he advised.
The third area of concern was for volunteerism.
"Our size and economic situations cannot just convert itself to a fully professional thing overnight, we therefore need to spend more time, assisting and putting thing in place for working with volunteers", he suggested.
Describing his time at the Jamaica Olympic Association as 'a fantastic journey', he said, while there had been some disappointments, "the achievements far exceed anything else and I think I'm leaving a base that has been well laid for growth and development."
Noting that his first Olympic experience was as chef de mission for the Jamaican team to the 1976 Olympics, he complimented the 'amazing representation' by the nation's athletes in track and field.
"A big success has been, I think, the growth and development of our coaching and education," he added.