- The games
- Organising Committee
- Rio de Janeiro
- Take part
2011-12-21Updated on December, 22nd, 2011, 14:29
Get to know the (many) responsibilities of a Sports Department Manager
Anti-doping control, timing, competitions result distribution, publication related to each sport and veterinarian services are some of the uncountable responsibilities of the Rio 2016™ Organising Committee Sport Policy and Operations area. Enumerating them is a difficult task even to Rodrigo Garcia, who faces this enormous challenge with impressive serenity.
Garcia is one of the four managers in the Sports Department, which counts on Sport Competition (Ricardo Prado), Sport Venues Design (Gustavo Nascimento) and Sport Presentation (still with no manager) areas. In 2016 Garcia will be in charge of more than a thousand-people workforce. The majority of them will be volunteers, who will need training. Judges and referees are also under his supervision. Preparing the Brazilian workforce is also part of the plan, but receiving and attending the needs of foreigners is a priority.
In addition to the operational part, decisions regarding more than a sport and requiring interface with other areas of the Committee, such as Accommodation and Technology, for instance, are part of his daily work routine. Contacting and exchanging (what? Working closely with?) with the Sports International Federations are among his constant activities as well. They are the part responsible for the guidelines and, in most cases, for helping the operation together with the organisation of the greatest sporting event on the planet.
“Although the Olympic Games are the same, each sport likes to receive a different treatment. We have to attend all their demands as well as make them understand they are part of the same environment. The Rio 2016™ will be the Games of Swimming, Football, Archery, Triathlon and all the others. These are part of the same event. This is the point. We keep dialoguing with the London 2012 colleagues. We have visited competitions all over the world to understand how they like to be treated. The events express their preferences. We look for that kind of learning experience, but the competitions here in Brazil will have our identity”, he analyses.
Learning with the Pan-American Games
With a Bachelor’s degree in Sport from São Paulo University (USP), a course focused on Sport Management, Garcia has taken his experience with marketing and events to the organisation of the Rio 2007 Pan-American Games. He was able to manage one of the main sport venues, the João Havelange Stadium, stage of the Athletics competitions. From then on/That point on, he has built his path / paved his way to the greatest sporting event on the planet.
“My learning path started with the Pan-American Games. Then, it continued with Rio’s bid application to the 2016 Games, where I helped to prepare the Masterplan (the framework of the Candidature File). I worked for eight months in the FIFA World Cup São Paulo Committee and, then, I came back. This process was important. I worked at the venues operations area in the Pan-American Games Organising Committee, a sport department area which dialogued with the venues area. Today, I am in charge of the Policy and Operations area. The working experience I gained from Pan is invaluable”, says the manager, who also mentions the learning opportunities one may gain by observing major events.
“We have to analyse the situations to better understand our demands. We have been to Beijing 2008, three times the size of Pan. This was my first Olympic experience. Then, we had the chance of advising Caribe and some South America countries which were applying to host regional Games. We were able to follow the London test-events and participate in meetings with the International Federations. We worked with different organisations. It is important to observe the details.”
Sport organisation evolution in Brazil
There is only one thing bigger than the challenge of organising a large scale event: the challenge of turning it into a source of sporting and non-sporting legacies to Brazil and South America. According to Garcia, the development of sport management in the country is evident. There is a growth tendency for the next years.
“Brazil is going through a huge evolving process in sport management and sport venues management. This is obvious. Since the Pan, I can clearly see that people and clubs have been more prepared. Sporting events have offered/can offer this experience, this background. It is nice to see that what we are planning to do here is not so different from the reality of the other countries”, he says.
The Sport Policy and Operations responsibilities are as numerous as the opportunities it generates. With a calm but firm voice, Rodrigo Garcia is in charge of one of the key-areas of the Sports Department. It is a hundred-people challenge, and it generates a million-people result.