Although his book is entitled “Living My Dreams” it’s a fact this well known cricket commentator and sports personality has not lived his dreams – not to the full extent anyway. That being the case, a more appropriate title for his book would be “Living my Dreams to a Certain Extent.”
The truth is while growing up in Guyana, Joseph “Reds” Perreira like so many young boys, imagined one day he would play for the Senior West Indies Cricket Team. Of course that was years ago, when they were truly a force to reckon with. Like so many others including yours truly, he played several sports but never excelled in any and as a result was forced to reinvent himself.
In a recent interview Perreira told me: “I had dreams but was a very average sportsman. Fortunately I realized very quickly, that my strength was in organizing sport. At a very early age let’s say 12, 14 and 16, I was organizing cricket, basketball and football teams, getting money to buy balls for them and pay for the grounds. I didn’t know then, but I was networking without even knowing it.”
In time Perreira developed his organizational skills with the same passion and commitment he has for sports, which opened doors and served him well even to this day.
Don’t forget, this man who early in life was nicknamed “Reds” for his flaming red hair (now grey), was the first OECS Sports Director, a position he held for 12 years. He also served as President of the St Lucia Amateur Boxing Association and for five years was employed with the St Lucia Tourist Board.
He did not fulfill his boyhood dream but is living his dreams to a certain extent, by continuing to do what he does best, not only commentating, but reporting and analyzing sports on the air waves – in this case on the WAVE Radio Station. That opportunity opened another door with Winners TV. He is the host of “Sports Talk with Reds” which airs Tuesday evening at 8:00 pm.
Initially the television station planned to do a program only on cricket, however, Perreira who is best described as an all-rounder (not in cricket terms) by being knowledgeable about most disciplines had other ideas. If you know anything about Perreira, he is very persuasive without being a bully, rude or arrogant – a nice trait to have. Naturally he talked the owners into having a multi-sports program.
He gave his reason. “I did not want to do only a cricket program. I thought there were so many other disciplines in St Lucia that had a story to tell, that need exposure and questions need to be asked in terms of their development. We try to feature a number of things which probably were never brought to the attention of the public.”
This is no ordinary sports talk show. “For one thing the atmosphere is free and easy,” said the sports lover. “Guests come and go and we try just and deliver a more modern approach to live television.
“Of course no talk show can be successful unless the subject matter arouses the interest of your viewing public. There have been interesting guests. Looking back my favourite guests on the show were two young ladies who dared to be different.”
Do you remember his interview with Julie Bonnett who is a high ranking boxing and basketball referee and what about Sabina Charles Kurtain who is a FIFA referee? That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Other guests have included sports personalities past and present from a number of disciplines including including two time Olympian and multiple Sportswoman of the Year Levern Spencer.
Perreira reminded me of his invitation for me to appear on the show. Initially I was thrilled. However, after thinking it over I politely declined and came to the conclusion, it must have been one hell of a very slow sports week.
Don’t think this show is based solely on St Lucian athletes and various officials. Not too long ago during a visit here, Olympic gold medallist Daley Thompson of Great Britain appeared.
Naturally with Perreira being a walking cricket encyclopedia, I couldn’t help but ask has West Indies cricketer Darren Sammy appeared on your show? Strangely enough he hasn’t, but only because he’s been away on tour with the team. With all the brouhaha concerning the West Indies captaincy, I was interested in getting Perreira’s take on things.
For a moment the tables were turned, the talk show host found himself the interviewee and not now the interviewer. Perreira said: “From the moves I am seeing, I think the selectors and the board are definitely going for Dwayne Bravo for the 50 over captaincy which did surprise me. Bravo has never captained Trinidad before, does not captain a club there and has not been all that impressive. If they make that decision you just have to go with it.”
He feels Sammy will certainly hold on to the Twenty20 captaincy, but isn’t so sure about the longer format of the game. Shaking his head Perreira said: “Just reading from what I pick up, they [Selectors] may be heading to Ramdin.
His book “Living My Dreams” contains many chapters, but make no mistake, there are other chapters to follow in his life. He was not specific but did say “I have ideas that can work it’s just a matter of getting the opportunity to execute them.”
Finally I asked are you actually living your dreams, Joseph “Reds” Perreira? Without hesitation he replied: “At 75 years of age yes I am and feel I have pushed the dream even further, because I wanted to and because there is life after commentary. Hopefully I have another 15 or 20 years to live and there are still things to do.”
Living his Dreams that’s for sure – but to a certain extent.