Who should benefit? Sports Scope Our Opinion
Stabroek News
November 13, 2003

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The question of who should benefit the most is an apt inquiry at this point in our sporting history in Guyana. This question has its genesis in the rewards on offer at national and semi-national sporting events especially.

Take for example the inter-ward basketball championships which had thousands of dollars at stake earlier this year. During the competition there were several clashes between the governing body (GABA) and the organizers over, yes, money. The point here is at some juncture we as a nation and as a sporting country must seek to `iron' out just who should be the prime beneficiaries of such events. Should the organizers get the bulk of the rewards since they in their entrepreneurial drive, invested a lot of resources into the project? Or should the players, without whom there would be no tournament, be the chief benefactors. This question is a bit `ticklish' but it must be settled since the fact remains that it seems to be lop-sided at the moment in favor of promoters.

For the sake of argument we at Sportscope would like to show the public in `numbers' several computations to show how the `cheese' rolls so to speak. A tournament is held with prizes (rewards) totalling $200,000 for the various winners in the different categories. A fee of $300 is charged per person for each game as the tournament unfolds say over a period of 30 days. Assuming that for the duration of the tournament a total of 1000 paying fans attend the activity then that will yield a whopping total of $9,000,000 gross. Now we subtract the prizes ($200,000) and other incidentals which together for the sake of this article amount to $5,000,000. This leaves the promoter `laughing' all the way to the bank, with a massive and most likely tax free $4,000,000 for a paltry 30 days of work. Maybe the GRA might be interested in these figures! Though these `numbers' might seem far fetched, it seems very profitable to run off such events from a promoter's point of view. Sportscope feels that that is the crux of the matter, that is, the promoter gets the lion's share of the benefits. While we at Sportscope are not economic forecasters we are of the opinion that even in sport, money is a `driving' force.

As such it may be opportune for a more equitable distribution of the `benefits' that accrue from the hard work of the athletes first off then the promoters. Sportscope would like to suggest that apart from the prize money on offer promoters should seek out the parent body of the specific sport and make tangible contributions. Failing that it may be the case of killing the `goose' that laid the `golden egg'.

In the more developed countries, players have agents, managers and even unions to represent them and so they get a certain amount of security with regards to their finances.

Our national under-23 footballers are at the moment doing extremely well but the fact is, they may have nothing left after their footballing career. The question is just what can a young man get from football or any other sporting discipline that can sustain himself and or family as the years roll by. The cold fact is, unless an athlete these days is qualified academically and otherwise, he/she may get the `short end of the stick' with regards to their eventual success in achieving their life's goals. Therefore who should benefit or rather how should the benefits accrued be distributed remains the topical question.