Thu | Jan 23, 2020

Water war! - Battle for swimming association's top post gets hot

Published:Friday | November 24, 2017 | 12:00 AMLivingston Scott

The battle for the presidency of the Amateur Swimming Association of Jamaica (ASAJ) is getting very hot.

Former boss Martin Lyn has come out swinging and says he is back to save the sport and that he will be challenging current president, Handel Lamey, in the association's November 29 elections.

Lyn, who held office for six years before being deposed in 2015 by Lamey's team, has branded the current administration as being inefficient and says he cannot just sit back and allow the sport he loves to deteriorate.

Lamey, however, insists that the sport needs no "saviour" as since he took over, the association has made progress in many areas. He also accused Lyn and his team of trying to capitalise on the good work they have done and there are fears that they will take the sports backwards.

However, Lyn said he is stepping forward because things have not been going well.

"I can't just sit and watch the inefficiencies of the current administration continue ... It is to the detriment of the athletes, parents, sponsors and volunteers. The essence of the sport is to encourage people to join ... we want to build aquatics in Jamaica," Lyn told The Gleaner.

He added that he does not think that there has been any improvement in the sport since he demitted office.

"I say no (improvement). You make strides when your sport moves to higher heights and I don't believe they have done so in the past two years ... . That's why I am running," he insisted.




Despite surviving a no-confidence vote, Lamey pointed out that those who pushed that effort were simply Lyn's supporters who haven't come to terms with their defeat and want to reclaim office by any means.

"There is no provision in our constitution for a no-confidence vote ... It's just an exercise they went through. It does nothing. These are dissatisfied supporters of Martin Lyn who can't seem to realise they lost the election two years ago and are seeking other means to regain office other than the democratic process," he said.

"I guess they see an opportunity because we are successful and making headway and they want to come and reap the spoils. He (Lyn) says he is stepping in to save (the sport) .... there is no need to save ... This association is not in trouble. The saviour mentality is a vestige of the colonial era. We need to get rid of that thinking and apply proper, modern leadership in Jamaica," he argued.

Lamey added: "This administration has very good support. We have a fantastic team; we will be taking it into 2018. He (Lyn) was in office for six years and he was not effective. Now we are progressing and moving ahead tremendously. We are no longer in the red as an association. We can pay our bills, we can maintain our facilities, and we have great plans for 2018.

"For next term we have set some goals ... . They say they want to rescue swimming, but they want to take the sport back to the Dark Ages."

Meanwhile, a confident Lyn also believes he has the support on the ground, but is not counting his chickens.

"I will get a lot of support and that's why I came out of retirement, to run the sport again ... but will it (ground support) be enough to bring me to victory? Let's see," he said.