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Private Sector Crucial to Transition of Sports as Commercial Venture

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Contact: Claudia Monlouis

Friday, July 04, 2003 - The Private Sector has over the years served well, as a major support pillar for sports development in St. Lucia. However in recent times, the focus on sports has been shifting from merely a recreational event, to its potential as both a marketing tool and a service product that can generate economic returns.

Researcher and writer on “Sports and Development” Peter Adrien, is of the view that government has done a good job of redefining the role of sports by making it part it of the island’s economic landscape.

“What we see happening in a sense like in St. Lucia, Grenada, and the rest of the countries in the West Indies - the whole reaction with respect to the 2007 Cricket World Cup - is the fact that commercial sports as opposed to recreational sports, have become part of the platform for economic development. So it challenges public sector policy makers to define a role, in the public sector investment programmes as to the role of sports,” Adrien said.

Adrien has made a call for the private sector to become involved in the ongoing transition to spur on the process, as their contribution is critical.

“The whole effort and the whole importance of global sports must be complemented by the coming together of media houses and strong sponsors who want to cash in,” Adrien emphasised. “If you want to create the passion, you cannot create passion outside of finance. So therefore the private sector has to play a key role.”

Adrien believes that in order for the country to capitalise on its premiere sporting facilities, a strong willed administrative team must be installed. He further advised that any sporting endeavours should not be politicized but presented in a national context.

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