16 take part in 3-day workshop conducted by ONOC
The Northern Marianas Sports Association successfully hosted a three-day course on Management in Sport Organizations led by officials from the Oceania National Olympic Committees and the Guam National Olympic Committee at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
The MISO workshop was held not only to help strengthen national sporting federations in the islands but also was in support of the CNMI’s preparations for next year’s Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games.
Oceania Sport Education Program Regional master educator Joey Miranda III, Oceania National Olympic Committees officer in charge/chief admin officer Meli Cavu, and ONOC chief communications officer Inoke Bainimarama conducted the course, which is under the Oceania Sports Education Programme.
Attendees include CNMI Weightlifting’s John Davis, NMI Swimming Federation’s John Hirsh, Northern Mariana Islands Football Association’s Ross Zapanta, Northern Mariana Islands Volleyball Association’s Somia Quan, Northern Mariana Islands Basketball Federation’s Roselyn Monroyo, Northern Marianas Badminton Association’s Janelle Pangelinan and Christy Villaflor, Saipan Baseball League’s Jay Santos and Ben Jones, Northern Mariana Islands Tennis Association’s Lydia Tan, Northern Marianas National Paddle Sports Federation’s Jason Tarkong and Heather Calderwood, Triathlon Association of the CNMI’s Manny Sitchon, and a contingent from NMSA led by president Jerry Tan, secretary general Valerie Hofschneider, and executive director Carline Sablan.
Miranda, during a press conference Friday, said the first day of the workshop got off to a good start.
“I believe the workshop last night went quite well. There was a lot of engagement and seems to be a lot of enthusiasm coming through especially from the newly elected officers who were more than willing to learn the processes in developing their organizations. So it’s a very good step towards the future.”
He added that the workshop gives sports federations a jumping point to start and continue their programs the right way.
“The short-term and long-term benefits include putting the structure in place for the future development of NMSA and other sports federations as well as feeding into the school system. So you start young and put the structure into place and that will help not just the kids but the parents of these kids see that there is a very good structure in every organization. Then they’ll want to put their kids in these sports organizations to help them develop in the future.”
For Cavu, just seeing the participation of a lion’s share of the sports federations in the workshop means that everyone is serious in moving sports in the CNMI toward the right direction.
“[It shows] they’re really committed to want to see change or basically doing the course that equips them with the competencies on how to manage a federation or a club. That to me is the biggest trend and if we can continue to progress on that direction we shall be able to make that change.”
When asked about his impression of NMSA, Bainimarama said it was quite obvious from the get-go that the leadership has the drive and commitment not only to pull off a successful hosting of the Mini Games but also to help improve sports federations under its umbrella.
“The fact that we’re here demonstrates the commitment of the leadership from the association, the board, Mr. Tan and his team, and obviously Carline. The enthusiasm around the preparations [for the Mini Games is evident]. One of things we’re doing with the national federations is getting them to see the benefits that hosting the Mini Games will bring not only for sports, but also for the country in general.”
He added that the Mini Games offers a really great opportunity not only in terms of sports, but also for other areas of the CNMI economy.
“Mr. Tan talked to us about the tourism opportunity that have opened up. Like Japan, navigating the Games was interesting. We take what we learned from there and into other areas. All eyes will be on Saipan and the CNMI in this Mini Games.”
Participants of the workshop said they learned a lot from Miranda, Cavu, and Bainimarama.
NMIFA’s Zapanta said the biggest lesson he learned is any sports association should have a strategic plan or a good description of its own sports program, which will serve as a good marketing tool when seeking sponsors in addition to having a basis for managing the association.
“NMSA and all sports associations should also have marketing committees that can plan how to generate donations and other revenues for big events on a timely basis. Currently, what organizations do is wait last minute and then ask the players to help in fundraising or do solicitation, and also rely on the government to cover any funding shortfall.”
Zapanta added that information about doping was very interesting and informative. “Basically, it’s a player’s responsibility to know what substances are prohibited for their particular sport. Banned drugs/substances also vary per sports.”
MBL’s Santos likened the workshop to going back to school and taking up Sports Organization 101 and he intends to use what he learned to help his sport.
“One of the more challenging things in running a sports organization is having the tools necessary to help your federation get pointed in the right direction. The ONOC workshop I attended gave us the skills needed to put a strategic plan together to include budgeting, marketing, and planning. I hope to use these skills to help further baseball in the CNMI and strengthen our competitiveness in the region.”
NMITF’s Tan said the biggest thing she learned from the workshop is that all sports federations need to put their constitution, good governance, and strategic plan together.
“The workshop conducted by ONOC was very informative for all sports federations and we enjoyed it very much. Some parts were also fun especially those with group activities,” she said.
NMIBF’s Monroyo said the workshop impressed on her that every federation has to have a strategic plan to provide direction for the group and also have an action plan to guide them how to achieve these goals.
She also couldn’t forget the acronym FER, which stands for Friendship (developing relationship with all stakeholders), Excellence (setting standard and working to meet them), and Respect when managing a sports federation.
NMBA’s Pangilinan said she also learned a lot from the ONOC workshop and she will use the lessons to improve their organization.
“The ONOC workshop was really great. Especially being a young member in the board, it helped me understand ways on how we can improve our organization. My biggest takeaway would be knowing the purpose of your organization. Setting a strategic plan, such as knowing your goals, mission, and vision for your organization helps the organization grow for its future. For badminton, there is a lot of work that needs to be done, but this workshop has and will help us in preparation for the Pacific Mini Games.”
Fellow NMBA official Villaflor said the most important lesson she learned was that good governance and structure are the key ingredient for a successful sports federation. She added that good governance should be like a living Bible that could help you gain membership and even sponsorships that ultimately will help sustain your organization.
TRAC’s Sitchon said the most important thing he learned during the workshop is the need for strategic planning. “We need to create a plan for the growth of our sport.” He said this runs the whole gamut from planning to marketing, to media relations, to restructuring of the federation’s bylaws/constitution.