"The Sport Management resource for volunteers in sports"

Readers Interview: Sanjaye (Mauritius)

In order to create an online platform to exchange information between our readers, we’ve started with interviews with our readers.

They all work in sports, and therefore have experience to share with all of us.


 

Name: Sanjaye Goboodun

Country: Mauritius

Function within your sport organization:

  • 1st Vice President NOC Mauritius
  • President National Olympic Academy
  • Co Chair Sport & Environment Commission
  • Secretary Mauritius Badminton Association

Current employer: Chemical Engineer

Most practiced sports in Mauritius: Football

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1.How did you come involved in your sport organization, and what kind of tasks/functions do you have?

Well I started my sport life as a badminton athlete. Had to stop sport career due to academic studies and joined in again as technical official and administrator. Afterwards through various stages I got elected in the National Olympic Committee (NOC).
Within the badminton association I have to look over the secretarial aspects of the board meetings and office duties. At the NOC I am mainly responsible for promotion of Olympic values throughout our sporting realm.

2. What is the biggest challenge you currently have?

Our biggest challenge here is to provide athletes the needed environment for them to prosper. It is not always easy to have all complementary requirements that the sport organization /athletes need to succeed. There will always be some missing links and we, as administrators, have to manage with what we have and make thing happens.

3. People often underestimate being a volunteer working in sports management. What do you think are the most important characteristics for a volunteer responsible for sports administration?

I firmly believe that the most important aspect for us volunteers is to self questioned our commitment taken towards our sport organization.
Voluntarism is not imposed. It is a choice and in doing so we have to be committed. It doesn’t take great men or women to do great things, just those who are greatly dedicated to doing them!

4. Does your sport organization make use of facebook, social media and websites ?

Unfortunately use of social media or websites is quite limited here in Mauritius. It’s not that we don’t have the necessary devices or know-how but we still need to be more organized, structured and professional in introducing these tools as a means of disseminating information and communication with our stakeholders.

5. Do you have any favorite sport management resources (books, films, magazines or websites?)

Resources and community of practice developed through the Olympic Solidarity MEMOS study (Executive Sports Management) that I have followed years back have greatly influenced my way of thinking on sport management.

6. What do you think are the most important characteristics for a volunteer responsible for sports administration?

Enthusiasm, Commitment and Values – based involvement.

7. How do companies and potential sponsors see your sport? And how does this affect your approach towards them?

Sport sponsorship is not so well developed in our country due to many factors such as – no tax rebate incentives from government, negative image of some sport federations, poor sponsorship marketing by sport leaders.
To approach sport sponsors we need firstly to ensure that our product i.e. our organization and/or the event, is ‘clean’. Meaning that sponsors are willing to associate themselves with us. Secondly the way we present or sell the product is important. We should know how to ask and what to ask. Last but not least, we should clearly show the potential sponsor what they will benefit in partnering with our organization.
Unfortunately, sponsorship in our country is still dependant in personal contacts and familiarity bonds that members have with business leaders.

8. What do you consider as biggest threat for your sport, and why?

Biggest threat nowadays is to get youngsters interested in ‘physical sports’. More and more we see our youngsters playing video games sports rather than actually practicing sports as a competitive activity.

Also for small country like Mauritius, an athlete has little professional career prospects and as such competitive sport practice does suffer.


9. Where do you see your sport in 10 years? Will you still be part of the organization?

We are doing our best to upgrade and develop our sport. We have to move and adapt to changing environment and provide athletes with their updated needs to ensure the continuity of the sport. I really wish to be still here in 10 years time or more to see our organization on top.

10. What else would you like to share with the online readers of www.sportmanagement.cc ?

Stay in touch with this link and share our common knowledge for the promotion of our sport organizations and in the interest of our athletes.

“Even if everyone says you don’t stand a chance, don’t give up your dreams”.

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28 Rules

We all have experienced Murphy’s Law in our sports organization. You have either a big sport competition, seminar or trip, and a small thing happens, and sets off a whole chain of other problems and obstacles.

I personally do not believe in superstition, but I have mentioned “Murphy Law” in the past on numerous occasions. The best way to explain this law is like “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”.

Well, recently I listened to a presentation of Peter Diamandis, who does not believe in such a law. In fact, he wrote 28 Rules who are too good not to share.

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Read everyone of them, and just remember them next time you fall into a negative spiral.

  1. If anything can go wrong, Fix It!!… to hell with Murphy!
  2. When given a choice… take both!!
  3. Multiple projects lead to multiple successes.
  4. Start at the top, then work your way up.
  5. Do it by the book… but be the author!
  6. When forced to compromise, ask for more.
  7. If you can’t win, change the rules.
  8. If you can’t change the rules, then ignore them.
  9. Perfection is not optional.
  10. When faced without a challenge, make one.
  11. “No” simply means begin again at one level higher.
  12. Don’t walk when you can run.
  13. When in doubt: THINK!
  14. Patience is a virtue, but persistence to the point of success is a blessing.
  15. The squeaky wheel gets replaced.
  16. The faster you move, the slower time passes, the longer you live.
  17. The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself!
  18. The ratio of something to nothing is infinite.
  19. You get what you incentivize.
  20. If you think it is impossible, then it is… for you.
  21. An expert is someone who can tell you exactly how it can’t be done.
  22. The day before something is a breakthrough, it’s a crazy idea.
  23. If it were easy it would have been done already.
  24. Without a target you’ll miss it every time.
  25. Fail early, fail often, fail forward!
  26. If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.
  27. The world’s most precious resource is the persistent and passionate human mind.
  28. Bureaucracy is an obstacle to conquer with persistence, confidence and a bulldozer when necessary.

Copyright, 1986, 2009, Peter H. Diamandis, All Rights Reserved.

Sports Illustrated winner Kids of the year 2012

I normally don’t pay so much attention to the nomination of the Sports Illustrated prizes of the year, as they normally go to the best playing basketball player, baseball player or other multimillionaire athlete.
For last year it seemed to be the same, as Lebron James was named the winner.

He didn’t agree though, and said that the brothers Conner and Cayden Long, deserved this title more than anybody.

After seeing this video, I am sure that you’ll agree.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_Lax4zFFoA

 

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The biggest sportmanagement mistake in small organizations

I am sure that you recognize this: A motivated group of people, most of the time headed by an amateur coach (=passionate sports lover), who runs a sports organization like a club, an after-school program or a community sports project. It always starts with just having fun, and then suddenly you want to enter a competition, travel abroad with your athletes, or perhaps affiliate to a national governing body to become eligible for funding.

You then realize that you need to have your documents (constitution, member administration, strategic plan) in order, and operate like a ‘real’ organization. The stress is reaching higher levels, because obviously there is a deadline (to travel, to enter a competition or to send your application for subsidy).

So what do you do?

What I see happening all the time, is that people reach to former athletes in that same sport. Athletes are asked to get on board, and assume the position of president, secretary or worst case the treasurer.

“It’s like asking a car mechanic to get in the board of a racecar team”

I am sure that majority of the car mechanics (with all respect) do not have a clue of management.

The fact that a former athlete had a good career on the field, does not mean that he/she has the ability to work with numbers, think strategically or do the marketing of your sports organization.

It would be of course tremendous if you can get an athlete who also have the most important characteristics of a sports administrator, but what are the chances?

There is one situation though, where it would be excellent to have a former athlete in your team. Situations where you need (public) attention for your sports or event, are ideal to attract former athletes. So you are not using any of his/her theoretical knowledge, but you are benefitting from his already established positive image. I consider this more as a temporary task, than a longterm decision in favor or the growth of your sports organization.

What do you think? Do you see any other big mistakes in sports management? I would appreciate it if you could share them in the comment section below.

Make your goals S.M.A.R.T !

If you are part of a sport organization, you are probably participating in meetings. I want to ask you to analyze the next couple of meetings you attend, and count the number of ideas that are being brought forward. We all have ideas about how the development of our athlete, team, club, association or federation should take place, but one idea is definitely better than the other.

Goals often start with brainstorming. This is not always necessary, but it stimulates the interaction between your colleagues. Basically there is only one rule with brainstorming, and that is that as long as everybody stays within the topic “there are no limitations to the ideas”. You just shoot off any idea, and do not allow small thinking taking over. It is fun, and one impossible idea will lead to another, which may seem more realistic to achieve.

But what is next? Your sports organization has a good idea, but how do you make it really happen?

What happens a lot is that a commission is installed to realize the goal or project. But then people get busy with their daily lives, don’t have the time for this idea or perhaps blame others for not having followed up on the goal…..does this looks familiar?

In my opinion this is lack of making the goals S.M.A.R.T. ( introduced by G. T. Doran 1981)

 SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-sensitive.

I will explain SMART goals with the example of a sport organization aiming to get a sponsor. Don’t make the common mistake by asking a student to make a marketing plan, or start sending sponsor requests immediately!

My advice to you is to start asking yourself the following questions:

Is your goal SPECIFIC?

What do you want to accomplish with a sponsor? What kind of sponsor do you want. Do you only aim for financial sponsoring, or would Value in Kind, give you the same benefits? What kind of business areas will you target for this sponsor and why? If you have specific answers on these questions you can move to the next aspect.

Is your goal MEASURABLE?

If you do not make your goal measurable, you will never know whether you are making progress towards the successful completion of your goal.

What sponsor budget are you aiming for? Would you also take two smaller sponsors for 50% of the budget? How big/popular should the sponsoring organization be? Regional, national or international orientated?

What time frame will you set to get appointments with potential sponsors? How many people from your sportorganization will be involved?

Is your goal ATTAINABLE?

For small sportorganizations with perhaps 20-30 young kids, it would not be attainable (realisitic) to aim for a million dollar sponsorship deal.

On the other hand, if that same small sportorganization, already has a couple of sponsors giving each one hundred thousand dollars, it may be much more realistic to get a one million dollar sponsor.

Another example is that if your sponsor commission consists out of business people with the right contacts, the goal of getting a sponsor is much closer.

So the context of your situation here is the key factor. Your most important question is “how can the goal be accomplished?”.

It is important to take some time and ask yourself how close you are to getting to your goal.

Is your goal RELEVANT?

Relevant goals are connected with other goals in your sport organization. This is of course always the case with money, but sometimes the time is simply not right to approach potential sponsors.

Or sometimes the people chosen within your organization to get the sponsors are not relevant? Don’t choose only the volunteers, who perhaps don’t have the slightest idea (or background) about sponsorships and marketing. They will organize the same dreadful carwash, fundraising barbeque or perhaps lottery.

 

Is your goal TIME-sensitive?

If you aim to win a medal at the Olympics with your team, you automatically have a deadline for the coming Olympic Games (RIO2016).

You should set deadlines for all projects, ideas and goals within your sport organization. If you want to get a sponsor, you could set your deadline in 10 months, and then break this down in monthly subgoals.

 

There is of course much more to getting sponsors, but if you make it a habit, to start with making your goals/projects SMART, you will be ahead of 90% of the others in sports.

 

Readers Interview: Nahid Karimi (Iran)

In order to create an online platform to exchange information between our readers, we’ve started with interviews with our readers.

They all work in sports, and therefore have experience to share with all of us.


 

Name:        Nahid Karimi

Country:    Iran

Function within your sport organization: Project Officer Development for Olympic Solidarity Programs

Current employer: Olympic Committee of Iran

Most practiced male sport for men: Football

for women:Martial Art,s Shooting, Archery and Football

1.How did you come involved in your sport organization, and what kind of tasks/functions do you have?

I got involved by my husband at first about 16 years ago. I worked in different NOC’s departments and for the past 12 years I have been working in Olympic Solidarity department.

 

2. What is the biggest challenge you currently have?

Changing the sports managerial positions repeatedly within a short period of time.

3. People often underestimate being a volunteer working in sports management. What do you think are the most important characteristics for a volunteer responsible for sports administration?

Necessary knowledge about that specific field in sport as well as enough motivation and interest.

4. Does your sport organization make use of facebook, social media and websites ?

We make use of social media and websites. Our public relations department is mainly involved. Our websites is linked with major sport bodies of the country.

www.olympic.ir

 5. Do you have any favorite sport management resources (books, films, magazines or websites?)

Yes, books, films, and websites. We have a rich Sport Library in the National Olympic Academy of IR.IRAN

6. What is your most memorable moment in Sports?

When I conducted an O.S. Sport Administration Course for NOC’s Tajikistan 1999.

7.  How do companies and potential sponsors see your sport? And how does this affect your approach towards them?

They don’t have great interest to cooperate with us, because we have not made enough effort to present our products. We shall raise our knowledge in marketing and try harder to make known the values and benefits of our OSO.

8. What do you consider as biggest threat for your sport, and why?

Putting the sports officials who are not aware of sport management in key managerial position.


9. Where do you see your sport in 10 years? Will you still be part of the organization?

Considering the large number of knowledgeable interested persons who are active in sport area in our country, we can anticipate a bright future. Yes, I still be part of the organization

 10. What else would you like to share with the online readers of www.sportmanagement.cc ?

I believe that threats and short-comings will often give rise to greater effort by those interested individual in sport this issue was experienced in women sport of our country.