Youth development principal focus this year – Robertson
-Support will be influenced by character, accountability, good
By Rawle Welch
GT&T’s Marketing Executive Wystan Robertson in an exclusive interview with Kaieteur Sport yesterday said that the Company’s principal focus this year would be to continue to assist in the development of youths, especially in the sports arena.
Robertson was giving a review of the entity’s performance in relation to its support for sports last year in addition to outlining some of the areas where they intend to place special emphasis in the New Year.
The Marketing Executive reflecting on the past year’s performance said that in terms of their support for sport, he felt that they had undoubtedly done well as a responsible corporate entity and this he reminded was because the Company felt it needed to play a pivotal role in the holistic development of the society.
Kaieteur Sport posed a few questions to the top executive and here are some of his responses.
KS – Does the Company view their support for sport as part of their civic responsibility?
WR – Yes, it is because as a Company, we have a role to play in the development of Guyana’s society. Youth development is one of those areas that we always thought that we have a responsibility to fulfill and sports is one of the mediums that can be used to encourage youths to be more productive in their lives.
KS – Is the Company proud of its achievements in terms of support for sports in 2008?
WR – The Company has done undoubtedly as a corporate entity very well. We’ve gone the full gamut in relation to our support. We’ve assisted many disciplines including squash, motor racing, football, chess, cricket, volleyball and rugby among others, while organisations such as the Rose Hall Town Youth & Sports Club, school sports have also benefited from our goodwill. Another aspect of which we are extremely proud of is the performances of some individuals and teams such as Nicolette Fernandes, Cleveland Forde, Alika Morgan, the national rugby teams, the Guyana Motor Racing & Sports Club, the Guyana Squash teams among others. So, we are satisfied. Measuring it is sort of two-sided from a social standpoint, we are happy and we’re also pleased with the steps some of these individuals have made.
However, I still feel that sports need more technical and financial support from the corporate community.
KN – The Company has been among the forerunners in terms of its support for teams and athletes. Will this remain the focus next year?
WR – As I had disclosed earlier, the spotlight will be on youth development, while we’re already committed to motor racing, rugby and football.
KN - Could you say how much money was expended on sports last year?
WR – I’m sorry I did not walk with the figures and I don’t want to hazard a guess at this time. From a financial standpoint what I can say is that sports such as those that I had mentioned earlier benefited immensely from our support.
KN – What about those athletes who are displayed on the Company’s billboards are they compensated for such undertakings and in what way?
WR – We normally pay them a talent fee, but than again it depends on the contractual agreement that the two parties have entered into. For some, it is built into their contracts whenever they make television appearances etc, but monetary rewards are also given.
KN - In view of the global economic crisis that has severely affected the world’s economy, will we see a reduction in the level of support for sports this year?
WR - Our support for sports is based on what we can offer. The indicators for us are not based on the world indicators, but are contingent on the revenues that we receive which will ultimately determine the level of support we provide. So, I would not say right now that that will affect on our ability to maintain our support for sports this year.
Meanwhile, Robertson related that even though the Company has been an exemplary corporate citizen, it is not given the kind of praise it rightly deserves.
“We’ve done a number of developmental works in the telecommunications sector such as making more lines available vast improvement in the cellular service, making rates more competitive etc,” Robertson pointed out.
He added that the Cellink Plus brand continues to be well received and this was very evident during the Christmas season where it got maximum response from all three counties as well as Region 10 (Upper Demerara/Upper Berbice).
He, however, reminded that the Company’s support for any organisation will be influenced by their character and accountability and the presentation of a good plan.