The Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC) will gather in Barbados, hosted by the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA), for an exciting programme of activities that marks the 20th anniversary of our organisation, under the theme, ‘Beyond Possible’.

The activities begin on 4 October when we engage participants in a two-day workshop that is led by the International Olympic Committee’s Sustainability Department. Most National Olympic Committees would have signed onto the programme on sustainability that is an initiative between the United Nations and the IOC.

On 6 October, participants will visit three projects in Barbados that is representative of that country’s contribution to sustainability.

On 7 October, the annual CANOC Workshop will take place and will focus attention on contemporary issues confronting the world of sport, with particular emphasis on CANOC’s leadership role in shaping and implementing the Caribbean’s response. We have repeatedly indicated that we do not live in a cocoon, but in a world that is rapidly changing and in which we must stand up and be counted amongst those who believe that we have a right to be in any major discourse on development.

For the most part, Caribbean sport has been hesitant to become involved in the global dialogue on the power of sport to effective influence meaningful change in a manner that acknowledges our engagement over the past several decades. Saturday’s workshop will allow for much introspection, understanding where we have come from, where we are now, where we believe we should be headed and how we intend to get there.

All of us who have committed ourselves to sport must understand the power that resides in this undertaking, amidst all of its multifaceted challenges. We have proven our capacity to lead in sport as we have done and continued to do in the competition arena. We have world-class coaches and technical officials. We have distinguished sport administrators on several international, continental, and regional sporting organisations, positively representing our ambitions to be partners, fully integrated into the decision-making processes of international sport for development.

Athletics and cricket have paved the way to global recognition of our immeasurable capacity to excel in and through sport, against all odds. Swimming and other sports have followed, taking athletes onto the medal podium of major sporting competitions.

Sunday’s General Assembly is a celebration of all of our Caribbean sports, highlighting our achievements on the march to and beyond what is considered possible. We take from Saturday’s workshop the pathways we will tread over the next several years as an independent, autonomous organisation, representative of a region whose peoples continue to implement the continuing lessons from our history to build a better Caribbean.

We are on a journey that is a continuum in which, excellence is only just getting us there, another chapter in the forging of our own destiny aware that we are positively impacting that of others with whom we come into contact in and through sport.