Mon | Jan 22, 2018

$3m fix needed for local diving

Published:Saturday | December 31, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Yona Knight-Wisdom competes in the men’s 3m springboard diving preliminaries at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The Amateur Swimming Association of Jamaica (ASAJ) needs to raise at least $3.2 million to improve the diving facilities at the National Aquatics Centre in Kingston, according to presidential hopeful Martin Lyn.

The former president, who wants to return after the association's next Annual General Meeting, has been making plans to build on the relative success which the discipline enjoyed this year at the Olympic Games, and continue to grow the sport in 2017.

"Well, specifically, to encourage diving, we would need a diving springboard," Lyn says. "It costs about US$8,000 ($1 million) and the fulcrum, the thing it sits on that makes it tighter or makes the diver adjusted to suit his or her diving technique, is another US$10,000 ($1.3 million) approximately. That would be for a one-metre board or a three-metre board. You have to put some metalwork back and you would have to rebuild the actual platforms themselves."

However, Lyn says this would be what he describes as an "easy fix" because the complex already has diving platforms installed at both levels, so it would just need replacements to its fixtures rather than the complete installation of new platforms.

The rest of the funding needed would be to find a coach. Lyn had previously said that although he has hopes of British-based Jamaican Pele Julien achieving as much as, or more than Olympian Yona Knight-Wisdom over the next few years, there has been a problem finding local talent not only because of the lack of readily available facilities for training, but also the unavailability of coaches to train them.

"You can get a coach relatively easy because you have coaches in Europe and North America who would love to come to a tropical country all year round. Not to put down our local people, of course, as we have people in Jamaica who have been around diving for many many years. Diving is not new to Jamaica but the fact of the matter is if you don't have the facilities, you can't get the coach. It's a catch 22."