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Front Runner Sports looking to take the lead

Published:Wednesday | May 13, 2015 | 5:00 AMDaviot Kelly
Founder and CEO of Front Runner Sports Management Sheldon Wright.

Let's face it, Jamaicans love their sports and such a sport-mad environment is perfect for a dynamic organisation committed to showcasing, planning, and managing various sporting events and athletes at a world-class standard. Sheldon Wright hopes to make Front Runner (FR) Sports such an organisation.

"At the moment, we are sports event planners and brand builders," he said. "We also offer specialised services in image consultation and are developing our athlete management programme to cater to them in their own unique way, for every athlete is different. In essence, we seek to create an irrigation system to the seeds we plant, whether it is in the form of a national sports association or athlete."

Wright started the company in February 2013 and said that through a combination of elements, including the grace of God, help of family and friends and mentors, it has grown from strength to strength.

"It took me seven years to get into the business of sports and another two years to establish this company. We are in this for the long haul, because sport is our passion."

Wright opined that Jamaica has much sporting talent, but much of it is going to waste.

"From my experience, playing badminton, football, track and field, and from the knowledge gained from being a journalist, teacher, and deacon at my church, I noticed a gap within the Jamaican sports industry, where there weren't many professional management organisations as I have seen in other countries." Wright was twice nominated for the Prime Minister's Youth Award for journalism for doing a story on Asafa Powell after he broke the world 100m record.

"His story helped to inspire me, especially about him getting a second chance at fulfilling his dream of sports stardom," Wright said.

"I saw immeasurable potential for sports in Jamaica, however, there was a lack of sports management to give athletes an opportunity to showcase their talent and get quality representation." Wright believes that many so-called minor sports cannot compete for sponsors and endorsements, so he tries to rectify that with FR Sports.

FR Sports has an effective team of highly trained and quality professionals. Duvaughn Dick, Wright's business partner and vice-president of operations, is a body builder and rugby player. He is also a physiotherapist who assists with monitoring the company's clients, particularly their injuries. Kimmon Henry, another business partner and company consultant, advises and oversees the professional contracts of FR Sports. Tertiary-level IT lecturer Ryan Fraser is the programmer, while Latoya Waugh is FR Sports' image consultant and branding specialist. Jaevel Brown is the social media manager, writer and editor.

"Also, we will have other skilled professionals to assist with sports medicine, marketing, and we are looking to offer a contract to a sports psychologist for our athletes to focus on the mental development to their game," Wright explained. FR Sports recently signed Jamaican international badminton player Che Beckford to a two-year contract.

"It is hoped that we will develop his career in a holistic way in order for him to learn how to become a professional and compete at the highest level," said Wright. FR Sports has received messages from persons who want to work with them, as well as other professionals in film and sports related business.

"It is amazing the impact we have been having. On my Instagram account, a footballer from Libya in Africa wanted me to manage his career," said Wright. "I have received noted interest from overseas investors as well, however, a solid foundation is key to success." Wright thanks God for providing the necessary resources.

"Financial resources have been one of the main challenges," he said, "however, one of my greatest attributes is patience and perseverance 'For the race is not for the swift, but for those who can endure'. This has allowed me to push through and stop complaining about the problems, not make excuses, and always show up at events on time. I have learned that every expert was once a beginner." Looking ahead, Wright said he saw FR Sports as not only an incredible and fun sports management company in Jamaica, but also a support system for national sports associations, athletes and sports teams.

"We seek to become a sports industry hub in Jamaica, to provide employment and offer skills and training services that will be used in the sports industry, by persons who seek to work in this industry," he said. Wright appealed to entrepreneurs and innovators to never give up on their goals and dreams.

- Check out FR Sports on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, its website www.frontrunnersportsmanagement.wordpress.com, or email sheldon.wright@yahoo.com.