AFTER one month of occupying the chief governance of the ‘Beautiful Game’, here in Guyana, the newly elected executive committee of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) held its first Media Brief on Friday last at the Federation’s Board Room.
The interaction, with most of the main stream media present, lasted for over an hour as President Wayne Forde along with first and second vice-presidents, Retired Brigadier Bruce Lovell and Rawlston Adams, facilitated all questions posed by the media.
In his opening statement, President Forde gave an overview of what has transpired since being voted in on November 14th as well as the immediate plans for the much needed transformation of the Sport.
“During the course of the past month my executive and I have focused our attention primarily on the key transitional arrangements, namely – the Internal Financial Systems, Physical Inventory, review of all Contractual Agreements, getting to know the employees, and meeting with members of the Normalisation Committee (NC).
“I take this opportunity to once again recognise the NC for their exceptional stewardship during the period of their tenure. Mr Urling and his team have promised their complete support for the football fraternity and we look forward to working closely with them in their capacity as Honorary Members of the General Council.
“We have had a very eventful first month that included the conclusion of the Stag Elite League Genesis phase, the Lady Jags’ Olympics qualifiers, meeting with key stakeholders including the Honourable Nicolette Henry, the Minister of Sport, Mr. Juman Yassin, President of the Guyana Olympic Association, the Honourable Joseph Harmon, Minister of State and members of the Private Sector.
“These engagements are consistent with our stated goal to broaden stakeholder involvement in the development thrust of the GFF. Our discussions were focused on identifying the opportunities for support and collaboration in the future.
“In 2016 we will commence the reform process that we have committed to. This process begins with the membership outreach programme that is already in the planning stage and will be extended to additional initiatives such as the Business Forum and a Technical Development Forum.
“The objectives of these events are to facilitate meaningful membership and stakeholders’ participation in the development of our plans and programmes. We believe that this process is an essential step in the restoration of trust, unity, and support for the work of the GFF.
“The executive committee is both conscious and humbled by the high expectations of our members and the Guyanese public. I can assure you that with your full support we will realise these changes over the next four years. I would like to extend an invitation to my colleagues in the media to join us in this journey to rebuild, rebrand and transform the image of football in Guyana”, Forde concluded as he addressed the Press.
In his usual articulate manner Forde elaborated on establishing strong relationships with the media, “The first item that we want to engage you guys on is the importance of the relationship that the GFF hopes to establish with our partners.
“Experience would have taught us that most of the challenges that football has gone through over the years were played out in the public media, the Press. Of course I know the Press by nature of their independence, which we all respect, have a role to play in keeping the stakeholders, the football fraternity and public, at large, abreast on what is going on at the national level
“What we hope to do over the next few years is to be as open as possible with you guys, to give you complete access to all of us, the Secretariat, the Executive Committee. We want to create the level of trust that, in my own expectation, will avoid some of the situations that we have experienced not so recently.
“We would like to see at a minimum, if you are going to do a story on anything relating to football that has a direct impact on the way that people perceive the game, that you do everything in your power to have your facts checked with us or one of our members.
“We think it is good for the sport as you can imagine this journey that we are on. We need all the partners that are available to us and we will nurture the relationship we want to build with the media. We will invest in that relationship and we will be very open with you at any juncture of that relationship.
“It is important that we recognise that the relationship that will evolve from this point going forward is very critical to the work that is before us over the next couple of years,” the football Boss lamented.
First vice-president Lovell also echoed similar sentiments in his brief remarks, “The relationship that we hope to establish with the media is one that must be anchored on trust. Certainly our communication philosophy should be one where we seek to engage with, not only the media, but members of the public, and we do so by providing complete accurate and timely information.
“We hold firm to the view that an informed populace is one that is useful to what we intend to achieve over the next four years”.
President Forde also made special mention of the Lady Jags team which will contest the CONCACAF final qualifying round for the Rio Olympics next year. As part of the preparations for the Houston play-offs to be staged next year February, the President hinted about a plan for the Lady Jags, “We are looking at an initiative that we are engaging some private partners on, called ‘Countdown to Rio’”.
“We have for many years witnessed the Lady Jags doing exceptionally well on the International scene, they have done exceptionally well and yet we don’t see that translated in the excitement here in Guyana. I believe there is a big disconnect in terms of what the Lady Jags have delivered and our response as a football family so this initiative we are hoping will bring some change to that. We want to invest in some very detailed PR activities that will bring attention to the Lady Jags”, the President indicated.
(Story/Photo compliments of Guyana Chronicle)