FINA Coverage: Locals Need Not Apply

Tuomi-HeaderAfter the last competitor in Windsor’s version of the Federation Internationale De Natation (FINA) 13th World Swimming Championships, Short Course, leaves the pool, a small army of workers will take a bow. They will then pack their bags and return to Australia, Spain, the United Kingdom, and numerous other locales.

This event is supposedly designed to showcase Windsor to the world. It is to prove the city has, as mayor Drew Dilkens wrote in the April issue of Biz X magazine, “… the expertise … to represent Canada on the world stage.”

Of course the actions of Dilkens speak louder than his words.

Many of the competition’s key positions have been allocated to outsiders; sometimes without tendering and usually without city council oversight.

Ottawa-based HTG Management Group is the accommodation manager. According to a report to council December 7, 2015, the company is procuring, contracting, and managing hotel accommodations.

Great Big Events International of Australia was contracted to provide sports presentation, as council was told, with an upset limit of $203,840.

Toronto’s Experiential Marketing Limited collects a monthly stipend of $6,000, plus tax, plus a 10% commission structure, for maximizing commercial rights and finding budget reducing, so-called value-in-kind services and supplies.

This has included finding a Toronto coach company to transport visitors from the east end arena to the city’s downtown hotels. The city will pay an additional $36,000 to cover the cost of room and board for the coach drivers.

A new east end pool was built with imported Italian stainless steel. This mirrors the downtown natatorium, which is too small for the event and does not have a warm-up pool.

Biz X magazine reported in February 2013, most, “… of the FINA officials, timekeepers, etc, would be sanctioned from out of town.”

Pan Am Games organizers, Vancouver Pacific Dolphins competitive swimmer Kelly Stefanyshyn and Charles Thompson, have been hired at $100,000 each. The local paper reported neither’s position was, “… advertised or put out to tender.”

As reported earlier in The Square, some $9,000 has gone to a Toronto firm for a mascot.

Peter Knowles, of the United Kingdom’s Knowsport Consultancy, will earn $285,000 for his services. The Windsor Star reported February 16 that he is also being paid, “… about $2,600 a month in rent and utilities …” to live in Walkerville, and is being reimbursed for, “… other expenses, like travel.”

Knowles, reported the Star, was hired by city council. Bureaucrat Tony Ardovini explained his pay was, “… beyond $100,000, so it had to go to council.”

The city’s Chief Administration Officer, Onorio Colucci, after a tendering process, hired Madrid-based International Sports Broadcasting. It will be the event’s broadcaster, at an, “… upset limit of $710,000.”

All of this money being spent on outsiders seems to contradict what the mayor told CBC News last November 3.

“Dilkens,” reported the broadcaster, “says the city should be going after sporting events, as they bring in money for businesses in the city.”

Apparently, they also bring in much more money for businesses not in the city.

About the Author

Robert Tuomi
After initially succeeding as a broadcast journalist and achieving senior level assignments, Robert branched out into marketing communications. As a senior executive, primarily in the high-tech industry, Robert created award-winning and comprehensive, multi-faceted initiatives to enhance sales and expand market awareness for some of the largest companies in their fields. Email Robert Tuomi

1 Comment on "FINA Coverage: Locals Need Not Apply"

  1. Ineffective mayor Dilkens wants this to be a world class event which it is not, but contracts bus service outside of our city. He also out sources managing the event to outside people, is he saying we do not have any person in Windsor that could manage these games. What about the person he hired to bring in more sport games to our city, is she not competent to organize the FINA games. The taxpayers are the losers, we foot the bill with our tax dollars again.

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