As the only southern African providers of the FIFA/CIES Certificate in Sport Management, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University recently recorded another coup when one of their facilitators was invited to present a key module to students in the West Indies. NMMU’s senior manager communication Debbie Derry shared the module she regularly presents in South Africa with a class of 20 students at the University of the West Indies over three days on the island of Trinidad.

Debbie Derry (front row centre) with the students from the University of the West Indies

The FIFA/CIES International University Network Sport Management Programme, which aims to improve the skills of sport managers, has a common curriculum. As such it was simply a case of adapting South African sporting examples to ones from the Caribbean. This was not difficult given West Indies’ prominence on the cricket field and athletics track. We as NMMU can be extremely proud of Debbie for being invited by the University of the West Indies to teach on their Programme. “It bears testimony to the exceptional quality of staff that we have at the NMMU”, said Vernon Oosthuizen who manages the qualification here at NMMU.


Debbie’s lecturing period – which included media conferences and a visit by the Ministry of Sport – culminated with a live television interview with the Caribbean News Media Group. For her part, Charisse Broome, the Programme Manager at the University of the West Indies, commented that “a sporting organization should not expect greatest success if it ignores developing a robust and consistent communications strategy. I believe that over the three fruitful days Debbie communicated that message with crystal clarity.”


Below are some comments made by the students:


“Mrs. Debbie Derry was able to bring real-life practical examples to the theory which assisted with a deeper understanding and appreciation for the content […] She demonstrated her remarkable wealth of experience in communication and the sport industry. The Sport Communication workshop incorporated a variety of current and relevant issues associated with communication theory and its impact in the field of sport, such as social media, crisis management and media relations. Mrs. Derry employed exceptional tools and techniques which facilitated my understanding and application of the discipline and as such, proved valuable to my experience as an aspiring sport communication professional. I enjoyed the workshop very much; it was informative, interesting, interactive and fun".
Calistra Gregoire, project manager within the Ministry of Sport in Trinidad and Tobago.


“Mrs Derry, our welcomed guest lecturer, was tremendous in her delivery of the communication material during the weekend. She was engaging and allowed us all the opportunities to discover new tools and methods for effective communication. Mrs Derry has a very modern and progressive view of communication which includes tools and methods for communication that I consider are relevant to us in a technological era. It was a pleasure of mine to take part in the seminars which included a press conference simulation which I found to be exciting, fun and a valuable experience. Mrs Derry was a great joy to work with and brought us a wonderful perspective on the theories of modern day communication".
Nicholas Mohammed