early Wednesday morning, I received the following letter
from Brian Lewis, who has served T&T sports, with some
credit, as the chef de mission at several Olympic games.
Dear Mr Wilson,
First, I take this opportunity to congratulate you on the
excellent job you and your team are doing with the Guardian
It is insightful and informative.
There has been a lot of comment about the merits of the
Cabinet approved $850 million sports facility at Tarouba.
But I do not recall seeing anyone examine the issue of the
viability of sport business or the business side of sport.
Can it be developed? Can it make a financial and economic
contribution? Is it sustainable? Is it realistic?
I appreciate that many still see sport as recreational.
But many countries are now taking a different look and see
sport as a viable economic contributor.
Brian Lewis (not the local architect)
I thank Mr Lewis sincerely for his kind words.
It was very useful for him to have added that he was not
the local architect because the other Brian Lewis, the architect
is on record, in a letter to the editor published in last
weeks Business Guardian, as being very much against
the $850 million Tarouba facility.
Mr Lewiss letter is also timely because I have had
cause to reflect on the issue of sports and its relationship
to business, especially the controversies surrounding West
Indies cricket, quite often in the recent past.
In that regard, I would like to applaud the West Indies
Cricket Board for appointing the committee led by Justice
Anthony Lucky to investigate the whole issue of the sponsorship
of the cricket team.
Even though I am far removed from the process, as a journalist
in a newsroom one hears disturbing things being spoken of,
especially as one sits next to the sports department.
If the WICB wanted to hire a company to find a new sponsor
for West Indies cricket, was that service subject to the
normal transparent procurement processes?
Were various companies invited to submit bids and were those
bids scrutinised by an executive committee and then the
board of the WICB?
Or did a board member decide to hire one of his friends
to conduct the search?
How was the fee determined? Was it a percentage of the final
figure or was it a fixed fee?
I am looking for someone who has the experience, depth and
the contacts to write on this issue.
I wonder if Mr Lewis can help me find someone?