Last update: 12-Dec-2013 1:27 am
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Tim Kee: I have no shoes to fill
“Let me not try to renovate anything, but rather break down and rebuild.”
President Raymond Tim Kee, in a continued effort to restore confidence in the new-look T&T Football Association (TTFA), made his intention clear, which is for the association to create a proper business module, while it rebuilds confidence from the T&T football public, something he says was lost by the former administration.
Tim Kee, an insurance executive and businessman, was the feature speaker at the Trinidad Union Club’s Speaker Series, which continued on the club, in Nicholas Towers, Port-of-Spain, yesterday.
In his presentation, Tim Kee, who was elected TTFA president unopposed last November, focused directly on the steps currently being taken to reform and develop the state of football in T&T, while he explained the significant leaps made since his election. Thus far, the association has seen a rebranding via the reverting from the former T&T Football Federation to the TTFA, as well as the launch of a new logo. The TTFA also recently launched a new kit for all of its teams, from the national senior women’s team, to the beach soccer team, to the under-15 national team, in a partnership with Spanish brand Joma.
In the run up to his election, Tim Kee campaigned on the need to restore confidence from the football public to the new executive, stressing that football belongs to the country and to the players and not the association. Despite the withdrawal of his initial challenger, Colin Murray, Tim Kee maintained his campaign directive all the way through to his maiden speech, when he made it clear that accountability and transparency were needed for corporate and private partners, as well as the Government to begin, once again, to invest in national football.
Speaking yesterday, Tim Kee said upon his election, his initial change was that in the association’s human resources. “I emphasised who I wanted to come join me should be brighter than I am, and smarter than I am, and that was where my journey started.
“There will be cultural challenges, because you’re talking about a culture that existed for many years, and, therefore, we had to start working with the younger people.”
Now, included in the association’s new mandate is the development of footballers in primary schools, from the under-six to the under-12 age brackets. Since January, the TTFA has embarked on a series of courses in which 150 primary school teachers were instructed. It is the ideal scenario where the young charges are involved both in academics and football, where it related to the development of an all-rounded athlete, who may wish to earn football scholarships.
There is also the recently-announced independent reform committee, an idea which he relayed during a meeting he had with the Fifa president Sepp Blatter and the head of administrations in a quest for help for the cash-strapped organisation, in an attempt to settle outstanding debts, which he inherited.
“I need to have something that will win back confidence from our football-loving people and there was a recommendation for a independent reform commission, which I then recommended and suggested. They asked, and I said that commission will consist of luminaries; people who are respected in our society and trusted, each of whom should come from a different discipline.”
The committee is headed by Raoul John, partner in charge of KPMG in Trinidad. KPMG is an auditing firm, which has an ongoing partnership with the TTFA. Other members include senior counsel Leslie Prescott, T&T Olympic Committee president Brian Lewis, former national goalkeeper Shaka Hislop, journalist Sheila Rampersad, former West Indies (cricket) Players Association president Dinanath Ramnarine and former national footballer Patrick Raymond.
Tim Kee said: “You would get advice from well-wishing friends who would say don’t bring that man here because he gave the WI Cricket Board some problems. I thought and insisted that we have somebody like that, objective and look after players’ welfare. I did not want at the end of the day when the commission came forward with the recommendations that the players welfare was not attended (to).”
Tim Kee said among other current endeavours being executed by the TTFA are the launching of a state-of-the-art Web site and the distribution of thousands of footballs to grassroot communities.
The Web site is expected to be launched within the next month, while the footballs, which are indestructible, are to be given to amateur clubs and children within less fortunate communities. They were provided by Chevrolet USA, via US-based former T&T national standout Lincoln Phillips, who is the father of the TTFA’s general secretary Sheldon Phillips.
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