As the umbrella organization for sport, The Jordan Olympic Committee (JOC) is responsible for working closely with its Federations to develop sport and to ensure that it is moving in the right direction.
It isn’t easy, as the annual budget of around JDS 6.5million has to stretch across 32 National Federations which employ hundreds of players, coaches and staff, and not to mention implementing plans and programmers as well as participation across the world.
To put that amount into perspective, more than 50 footballers in the English Premier League earn at least a similar amount!
This is where the JOC’s Federation Relations Department comes in to play a vital role in ensuring that every penny is well spent.
Headed by Rana Saeed, with support from Mohammad Al Alfi, Abeer Al Zaben, Zahi Kataw, Hashim Al Berri and Yahia Al Saoud, the Department helps Federations create and implement four-year strategic plans for each Olympic cycle, as well as annual plans to better evaluate progress and offer advice and guidance when needed.
It helps Federations to meet their goals and she emphasized the importance of planning ahead by sticking to an arranged calendar so that the Federations can be more organised and efficient.
“We work closely with the Federations to help them develop realistic four-year strategic plans which are reviewed regularly, with finance distributed based on their progress and proposals,” Saeed said.
“Federations tend to have very different goals. What we do is look at their previous six years’ performance and ask them ‘what do you want to achieve?’ This can obviously vary from success on an Arab level all the way up to Olympic qualification.
“As well as High Performance ratings, Federations are also marked on grass roots, coaches/managers/referees, participation in the JOC’s own coaching development programme as well as their efforts in securing additional funding.
“However the delivery of those strategic plans is very much in the hands of the Federations. The onus is on them to deliver. We don’t get involved but we do offer support and work together to move in the right direction.”
At the end of each calendar year, Saeed’s team sits down with each Federation and thoroughly discusses their performances in each category, and assesses their plans for the upcoming year with new goals for the federations to achieve.
“All of the federations have big dreams,” Saeed said. “They just have to continue working hard to achieve them and we will do our best to support.”
Saeed said the core element of her role is to make life easier for the Federations by helping them as much as she can.
However, there are obstacles along the way. Many Federations are run by volunteers and part time staff so it takes time to work with each one and to help them understand the process. It has not been easy, but Saeed said that it is certainly improving with monthly active reports that are now provided to the JOC by all Federations.
Another issue here is continuity. New boards are elected every four years so it is important that momentum is kept into the new term of office.
However, Saeed believes that in spite of limitations, sport in Jordan is making concrete progress.
“It is definitely improving year after year as Federations gain a clearer understanding of the system,” said Rana. “We are using the feedback from the Federations to develop the evaluation criteria for more accurate results.”