Lyn expects UANA Cup to benefit local swimmers
President of the Aquatic Sports Association of Jamaica (ASAJ), Martin Lyn, believes the country's participation in the inaugural UANA (Union Americana de Natacion) Swimming Cup will be massively beneficial for the swimmers.
The championship which takes place from January 18-21 in Coral Springs, Florida will include countries from North, Central and South America and the Caribbean, and Lyn is sure local swimmers will gain valuable experience and exposure that can only benefit them in the future.
"The competition is very high and very good for us to be a part of. It is a very good meet to go to test yourself against some of the better countries. Many of these countries won't be going to the Commonwealth Games, so it indicates the level (of competition) and the exposure for our players. These high level competitions are always very good," he said.
Lyn noted that they rarely get to compete against most of these South and Central American countries and that it will be great for the swimmers and coaches to interact with their peers from neighbouring nations.
"Any exposure at a high level for our athletes helps to show them how competitive the sport is. It also exposes them to the fact that if they stay in a little fish bowl and compete against the same people all the time and win they are not really improving.
"So when they go to these meets and compete and finish eighth, they realise they need more work," he commented. "So it is a glorious opportunity that we should not miss. It is an opportunity for us to really promote ourselves and integrate with our countries, their coaches, players and get to see what techniques we might pick up and just what other countries are like," he said.
The competitors will be divided into three age group categories - 11-12, 13-14, and 15-17. Lyn said they are looking to send as many as 12 swimmers.