Tolan says he has the right connections
Vishu Tolan, a candidate in the race to become Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) president has admitted that that it won't be easy to replace outgoing boss Mike Fennell but said his team has persons with international connections.
Tolan, who is president of the Pan-American Badminton Confederation and vice-president of the Badminton World Federation, responded to former JOA vice-president Don Anderson's suggestions that two newcomers may take a while to establish the kind of relationships that Fennell, who has been president of JOA for 40 years, had.
"A lot of people in the Olympic movement don't understand why Jamaica is not better represented in the Olympic bodies. When you have two newcomers, it takes awhile, and if people were concerned before, I believe you understand that kind of void," Anderson said in a story published in The Gleaner on May 12.
"Jamaica will not have the kind of presence at that level for some time," he added.
Jamaica Paralympic Association president, Christopher Samuda is the other candidate battling for the top post.
Tolan acknowledged that Fennell's position as president will be hard to fill but intends to build relationships.
"His (Fennell) shoes are very large and should take some time, however I am equipped to do so," Tolan told STAR Sports in an interview last weekend.
"Based on my current affiliation with the BWF as vice-president and PABC president, I have a fair amount of influence. Although Mike left some void and it won't be easy to step in. Although it would take some time, I do have an excellent base to start from. Poul-Erik Hoyer, the BWF president is on the IOC (International Olympic Committee), and BWF vice-president for Africa Dagmawith Berhance is also a member of the IOC council," he added.
Tolan also pointed out that Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association president Dr Warren Blake is first vice-president on his slate.
Blake also sits on an IAAF committee. Other members of Tolan's slate are Martin Lyn; Marva Bernard; Compton Rodney; and Stephen Jones; Dr Primandand Singh; Wayne Shaw and Allie McNab.