William Poveda has been CIES coordinator in Ecuador since 2019. Here he gives us some impressions about his professional activities, the importance of training in sport as well as the challenges the latter faces at the regional level.
What is your professional background and your links with football?
From a very young age, my life has revolved around sport and football in particular. I played on the field as a semi-professional player. I won several tournaments both inside and outside the country at junior and university level.
As far as my studies are concerned, I have always combined classroom courses (Bachelor's degree in marketing and MBA) with sports activities. In fact, I won a track and field scholarship at Notre Dame College of Ohio. After that, I studied at the University of Myers while working as a technical assistant for its football team.
And after graduation?
I immediately entered the realities of life by founding a company (CIEX Americas) that aims to obtain scholarships for young athletes in American universities. Our activities also extend to the organization of tournaments, international sports tours and logistical support for university teams in the United States and Canada.
In addition, after serving as President of the Panama Sporting Club (Guayas' second division), I have assumed the responsibilities of Director of Licensing and Club Competitions for the Ecuadorian Football Federation since 2017.
What are your main duties?
My main objective is to promote the professionalization of Ecuadorian football clubs and competitions. In October 2019, I had the pleasure of being part of the Local Organising Committee for the Women's Libertadores Cup held in Ecuador as Operations Coordinator. A very rewarding experience!
Why did you accept to be the CIES Coordinator in Ecuador? How do you see this position?
As the discussions with CIES and FIFA about the organisation of the FIFA/CIES Executive Programme in Ecuador were progressing, I could see the impact on the development and professionalisation of sport in the countries where the Programme was implemented.
To date, only 17 countries have had the opportunity to offer this training. The Ecuadorian Football Federation, together with the Universidad de Las Américas (UDLA), its university partner, and CIES, assume the great responsibility of guaranteeing the academic quality of the course as well as a pedagogical methodology applied to the realities and needs of Ecuadorian sport.
What do you think of your collaboration with CIES?
The collaboration with CIES is an important step in my professional career. Indeed, it is in line with my objective of promoting development and providing tools to improve and professionalize Ecuadorian sport.
My work with football clubs and professional associations has allowed me to get to know the strengths and weaknesses of these structures. Therefore, this project with CIES gives me the opportunity to contribute to the planning of the content so that they are oriented towards the strengthening of sport and, in particular, football in Ecuador.
What are the main challenges facing Ecuadorian football and sport?
I think that the increase in income that football has experienced has not been consistent with the investment made by clubs to properly structure the areas of administration and training. Resources are distributed inefficiently, which leads to problems with sustainability.
Can you give some examples?
There are still many institutions whose empirical structures do not include professionals or have simply not created areas of activity related to marketing, business, finance, communication, among others. This is undoubtedly a weakness for these clubs and other sports entities. Indeed, they are not part of the global trend towards the professionalization of sport to ensure its sustainability, improve communication with their stakeholders and meet the needs of business partners.
Is education a way to address some of these challenges? How?
Continuing education, research and innovation are essential tools for any industry and sport is no exception. Every year, more and more sports institutions are integrating and setting up professional operational structures that achieve medium-term results in terms of sport and financial results. This proves the importance of setting up prepared work teams not only in the field of sport, but also in various administrative matters by breaking down barriers and stigmas.
A wish for the future your future professional activities?
Sport, and especially football, has been part of my life since I was a child. My desire now is to grow, improve and consolidate it as much as possible.