ALL IS set for the 26th TT Olympic Committee (TTOC) annual awards ceremony which takes place, for the first time, virtually on Tuesday from 6 pm.
The majority of this year’s edition has been pre-recorded to facilitate a smooth flow of the programme.
TTOC patron, President Paula Mae-Weekes, will deliver a special message to the athletes after a slow competitive year. As is customary, attendees will have to wait until the start of the event to discover who will present the feature address.
The inaugural virtual awards will be available for viewing via Zoom, Facebook and all other TTOC social media platforms. A link will also be sent out to media houses to provide timely coverage of this historic event.
TTOC president Brian Lewis said there were some challenges in preparing for this year’s awards via a digital platform. However, undeterred executive members persisted and veered away from using the pandemic as an excuse to postpone/cancel the TTOC annual flagship event.
According to him, the choice to postpone was always an option but the committee felt this was an easy way out (of hosting).
“We remained committed to host our 26th annual awards gala and we had to go the virtual way," Lewis said. "There were many challenges to host the event this way but we felt that we had a responsibility to do so.
“It's going to be exciting and interesting. We would have looked at a different number of elements and aspects of the sporting landscape that we used to select our awardees.
“The reality was that this was originally an Olympic year and we would have anticipated success that team TTO would have gotten, were the Olympics held this year. This might have narrowed the focus (on selection of awardees),” said Lewis.
Lewis also said that the awards placed increased demands on the committee. He acknowledged television and broadband provider Flow for providing the much-needed internet connectivity and bandwidth to ensure the event is an online success.
Olympic-bound cyclists Nicholas Paul and Teniel Campbell were the respective 2019 TTOC Sportsman and Sportswoman of the year.
Looking ahead to the Olympic year, Lewis and his team are intent on continuing preparations amid the challenges.
“The good news that came out recently was the vaccine. However, the bad news was the recently discovered new variant of covid19. These are all part of the reality and logistics as it pertains to Tokyo 2021.
“The important thing is continue to prepare, work with various stakeholders and national sporting organisations that are likely to have athletes qualifying for the Games and maintain communication with the Sport Ministry,” he added.