Brian Lewis

NEW PLAN: Brian Lewis

“The plan is to make it interesting and different.”

That’s the thinking from Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis about his organisation’s staging of its Annual Awards Gala that will be hosted virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The TTOC, through the establishment of its entities approved by its Board at last month’s AGM (Team TTO TV, Team TTO Media and Team TTO Marketing) will produce the annual black tie sports gala that is being organised by the TTOC events committee and its chairman, Wendell Constantine. Constantine is also a TTOC executive member.

Organisers are contemplating the use of the Zoom digital video-conferencing platform that would be accessible to not only local television stations but will simultaneously broadcast live through the TTOC’s popular digital media channels under the Team TTO heading on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. It is also contemplating the development of a pre-recorded and produced show.

“It is going to be virtual and there will be some interesting innovations from it, of course, because it is virtual. I think what we will lose from it being in person could be compensated or enhanced by the virtual hosting,” said Lewis, also president of the Trinidad and Tobago Commonwealth Games Association (TTCGA), “It would be interesting to see how the final production would look. The team is working on it feverishly.”

Lewis added that some aspects of the show—currently under discussion—will necessarily have to change to accommodate the digital hosting.

The usual awards remain.

The People’s Choice Award campaign has already been launched on the TTOC’s on-line platforms, while the other awards—Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year, Junior Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year, Alexander B Chapman Award, Sports Personality Award and Best Dressed Male & Female - will all be bestowed on the night of the gala.

In a year when sport has been severely curtailed and affected by the pandemic, Lewis said the theme of the event will reflect the athletes’ determination to persevere.

“I think the evolved thinking and theme and concept is while it has been an incredibly difficult and challenging year for sport, our athletes in general have remained indomitable and unwavering in their commitment,” Lewis said. “I think our determination to have the Awards is based on an overall theme of being indomitable and being resilient.”

“I think the opportunity that is provided for us, like all of the virtual events the TTOC has held, the invitation now extends to just outside T&T,” Lewis said, adding that the current plan is to adhere to the tightly-produced 45-minute programme the TTOC has refined the gala to over the last few years.

But Lewis said there is the opportunity to add some aspects to it, ”that we probably would not have been able to do in a live setting.”

“It’s exciting. I mean I don’t think anything beats the live show. It‘s an annual award gala that is a must-attend not only on the sports calendar but the social calendar,” Lewis said. “So we are looking at the options of which platforms it would be on, how it it’s done, with the intent to make it interesting and different.”


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