Sport and Community Development Minister, Shamfa Cudjoe says sporting organisations must bounce ideas off each other to remain in existence.
Speaking at the sixth Sport Industry TT Conference, which was held virtually on Thursday, Cudjoe said “The Covid19 pandemic has presented tremendous challenges for the sporting fraternity throughout the entire world, not just by halting calendars or shutting down activities but by crippling the contribution of sport to our economy and everybody can feel it from the level of Government all the way to the athlete.”
“We have felt the blows dealt to sport due to Covid19. (In) the blink of an eye the world has changed and we can all say that the world of sport has definitely changed.”
Cudjoe added “It is in this time that is most important for us to constantly meet…as we toil to stay afloat, to re-engineer strategy, to identify and create opportunities and to even make magic in our current situation…we need to constantly share ideas, share experiences, so we don’t just survive but thrive throughout this pandemic.”
The Sports Minister also tackled the financial losses that Covid has placed on sport.
She said, “We look at the United Nations department of economic and social affairs would have estimated that the sport industry worth over $756 billion US annually is under threat due to Covid. We look at the news that is coming out of Tokyo Olympics and the Paralympics where we are being told that without spectators it will result in an economic loss of $2.4 trillion Japanese Yen and that is the type of impact that covid has had on the Olympics that we have practised for so many years that we felt like no matter what happens the Olympics will go on.”
Also participating in the sports conference was Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat, who, prior to entering politics, had a career in advising sports teams and organisations.
Rambharat said although sporting events are ongoing and being aired “Spectators must remain an important economic (factor) and also in terms of physical support and motivation to the athletes. How quickly are we going to be able to fill the stadia and what are the rules relating to congregation and entry?”
He also touched on brands and advertising and the possibility that they many brands may be unable to sponsor sporting events in the future.
He said “we are going to see a fallout of interest.”