Jul 29, 2018 Sports
By Sean Devers
At 79, the memory of internationally acclaimed Cricket Commentator Joseph ‘Red’ Perreira is as sharp as ever as was shown during a highly productive four-day trip to Berbice and for a man his age, his stamina, memory and commitment to making a difference in Sports in Guyana, remains as strong as ever.
On Wednesday last just after his arrival at the Ogle International Airport, where he was greeted by BCB Secretary Robby Saywack and former National Coach, Albert Smith, Reds visited young cricketers in West Berbice before traveling to Rose Hall Town where he was accommodated as guest of the Berbice Cricket Board (BCB).
Reds conducted a wide-ranging programme aimed at identifying areas in need of development but the focus was on the Senior Berbice clubs and their Youth development.
“What stood out for me during this trip was the seriousness by the BCB. BCB President Hilbert Foster stayed away from my interactions with the various Associations since he wanted them to give me their honest views on the BCB…It was not a PR stunt to have me there,” declared the Pomeroon born Sports fanatic who now resides in St Lucia with his wife Zandra.
“My visit to Berbice was not only focused on cricketing matters since I meet with the Mayors of New Amsterdam, Rose Hall Town and Corriverton to share ideas about developing sport in Berbice. They have agreed to stage 5 & 10K runs in the three Towns,” informed Reds an advisor to former Sports Minister Shirley Fields-Riddley and Ex OECS Sport Director. Reds said he spoke to Regional Chairman of Region five about refurbishing Rohan Kanhai’s house in Port Mourant so that visitors to Berbice could see where Guyana’s best batsman, the first West Indies Captain of Indian decent, once lived.
Reds presented 24 clickers to the Berbice Cricket Umpires Association (BCUA) and visited many sports facilities in the Berbice area to get acquainted with the current infrastructure.
“I also met with teams which were not clubs and I explained that teams only have players while clubs have an executive, a home ground and it is easier for them to get funding for cricket development. Strong Clubs makes strong Associations,” Reds pointed out.
He said that he has spoken to the Football, Boxing, Athletics, Volleyball and Cycle Associations and Federations to go to Berbice to participate in exhibition games to keep the Berbicians interest in sports alive.
“My friend Dave Martins will perform for free at the BCB fund raiser which they will organise. Martins will be sponsored by Baron Foods, a Manufacturing Company in St Lucia owned by Guyanese and I encourage all Berbicians to support this event,” Reds said.
On Saturday Reds spoke to Berbicians in the National youth teams along with the officials from the clubs and teams of the BCB at a seminar at St Francis Community Development Centre in Rose Hall Town before travelling to Albion to do commentary in the Blairmount CC fund raiser Roy Fredericks Cup, which concluded in the wee hours of Sunday morning when he attended the ODI at Providence.
Reds said he was well taken care of by the BCB, while his only disappointment was that the youngsters at Blairmount were not aware of Roy Fredericks’ career as a cricketer and Sports Minister.
The late Fredericks played for Blairmount Estate and is the only Government Minister in the World to have scored a First-Class double century when he came out of retirement in1983 at Bourda and made 217 against Jamaica.
Back in the City, Reds, who has commentated in 147 Test matches since his first at Bourda in 1971 when West Indies opposed India, spoke to youths at the Malteenoes Cricket Academy on Wednesday before going to Providence for the Day/Night ODI.
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