The trinidad Guardian / The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Arima Race Club (ARC) is scheduled to be held on May 28th, 2017. Assuming that a quorum is achieved on that date and/or that all requisite documents are available and submitted to the members within the prescribed period, the AGM should be one of the more critical ones ever held by the Club.
The President, 2nd Vice President and three Management Committee members will be coming up for election. The reality is, that for all of the very good intentions of the incumbents, there is a strong school of thought that they are not getting the support of certain factions in the sport which claim they lack the skill set required to carry the industry forward in this very trying time.
What skills are required? The most important skill required of any incoming President is leverage. The elected President must have the ability to leverage his considerable networking base or his current professional relationship to attract new sponsors to the sport.
This is not a job for a Marketing Committee. This is a job for the President of the Arima Race Club. It is not enough to be a businessman. The Club needs a successful businessman. It is not enough to be a successful businessman. The Club needs a successful businessman with clout. The Club needs someone who can get an audience with the top, most profitable businesses in this twin island country so as to present to them what the sport of horse racing can do for their businesses, their investment in the sport.
This is a bare minimum it is believed by many, failing that which may be difficult to realistically achieve, his vice presidents should have that in their scope as a team.
The next important skill required is communication. One of the challenges confronting the sport is that it has been unable to articulate to a non die hard race fan, the value of attending races on an average race day. The sport has been unable to extend its reach beyond a gradual shrinking pool of old race goers. The answer here lies in social media and reaching a younger audience where they live – on their cellphones. The elected President has to usher in a new era for the sport in this country. The Club does not have the resources to engage the best professionals in the business so those in charge of the Club have to bring some of the knowledge with them. A number of our leading businesses have developed successful online presences but few as successful as what Sacha Cosmetics has been able to do. We have people with the knowledge in the sport. Time to use them and forget political brinkmanship or the boys club.
The next important skill required of the elected President is negotiation. There are a number of varied stakeholders that the President of the ARC has to play a greater role with, in negotiating a new or better deal for the sport. The President has to lead the charge when it comes to negotiating with the Government of T&T, the Betting Levy Board, the T&T Racehorse Authority, the Racehorse Owners Association, the providers of the pari-mutuel systems, and every other stakeholder. At present, the role of the President seems very much inward looking, that must change if the sport is to find its niche in the coming years. The elected President has to take control of the future of the sport since the Arima Race Club is the appointed guardians of the sport in this country.
Issues affecting the country’s ability to import horses from locations such as Venezuela; the Gaming Bill; work permits for riders from overseas; tax concessions for the importing of horses are just examples of what the President should be getting involved with.
It is time for team work or a total change if the team cannot work together. Someone willing to take the sport on their back and carry it forward. Is there such a person out there if the current Team cannot work together with the various parties in horse racing .
ARC needs a change
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