Sport

Chris Samuda stakes claim for JOA presidency

BY HOWARD WALKER
Senior staff reporter
walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, June 18, 2017

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The development of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) properties into a multi-purpose facility and revenue centre, with office space for federation members, are just some of the things presidential candidate Christopher Samuda has on his plate, if elected.

The offices of the JOA are located on Cunningham Avenue just above the National Stadium, and Samuda, a sports and commercial attorney, believes an Olympic sport museum and a sport research centre would also add value to the property.

Samuda, the current secretary general of the JOA, will be seeking to replace the outgoing president Mike Fennell and will battle his vice-president Vishwanauth Tolan for the JOA top spot. Samuda seeks majority support from the 36 voters on June 27.

“I have every confidence in the wisdom of the electorate, and am very grateful for the strong commitments of support I have received and continue to receive,” Samuda, who is overseas on JOA business, told the Jamaica Observer.

The attorney, who is also president of the Jamaica Paralympic Association, President of the Jamaica Disability Cricket Federation and a member of Jamaica's National Sport Council, said he brings to the table a certain integrity in his perspective on life — in living and relating to people.

“Strong ethics and a culture of fair play, an unqualified love, passion and commitment to sport and sport development and a strong corporate approach and practice which my professional practice and my experience in the corporate world, particularly as president of the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions and my chairmanship of private and public bodies have inculcated in me,” Samuda said.

The Wolmer's Boys' School past student points to his outstanding commitment to teamwork and team success, coupled with his competences in sport governance and administration, and sport law as invaluable assets which should make him leader of the JOA.

“Culture of performance and achievements, as exemplified, among others, in my chairmanship of the Athletes Development and Well-Being Committee, which brought into being the historic Jamaican Athletes Insurance Plan for national athletes in national sports,” he added.

Meanwhile, Samuda's team will comprise of Jamaica Bobsleigh Federation boss Chris Stokes as first vice-president, and Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) General Secretary Garth Gayle as his second VP. Alan Beckford, Vice-President of the Jamaica Triathlon Association, will be hunting the Secretary General post, while Nichole Case, President of Badminton, is up for treasurer. Jamaica Football Federation vice-president Raymond Anderson, Laurel Smith, Secretary General of the Jamaica Fencing, Robert Scott, Secretary General of the Jamaica Rowing Federation, and Yvonne Kong, current JOA director, complete his slate of directors.

Samuda noted that his team has a wide range of skill sets, competences and experience, particularly in corporate and sport governance and administration, marketing, sport education, sport tourism, human resource management, intellectual property and trademark, among other things.

“They bring to the table, collectively, a reservoir of tremendous professional skills and competences,” said Samuda.

Tolan's team is comprised of JAAA boss Dr Warren Blake as his first vice-president; former Amateur Swimming Association of Jamaica president Martin Lyn, who will be his second vice-president, and former netball boss Marva Bernard as Secretary General. Veteran Compton Rodney will be treasurer, with boxing president Stephen “Bomber” Jones, KSAFA president Wayne Shaw, Dr Praimanand Singh and Allie McNab his four other directors.

If elected on June 27, Samuda reveals he has tremendous plans for the JOA and, by extension, other sporting bodies and Jamaica.

He will immediately develop and implement a strategic business plan, with immediate and short, medium and long- term deliverables, including convening a strategic meeting with all members to articulate the vision and mission and to get feedback, to build consensus and outline the way forward.

He also plans on instituting and institutionalising a corporate structure and ethos for the JOA, with an executive CEO reporting on management and operational matters to a board of directors of policy makers.

The re-structuring and enhancing the competences of the staff of the JOA for greater efficiencies and output, member service and delivery are also on the cards.

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