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Dive in and support us! - ASAJ president calls for support for Jamaica’s divers

Published:Monday | August 5, 2019 | 12:25 AMDaniel Wheeler/Gleaner Writer
Knight-Wisdom
Knight-Wisdom

President of the Amateur Swimming Association of Jamaica (ASAJ), Martin Lyn, has called for more backing for Jamaica’s local divers.

Speaking with The Gleaner recently on the heels of Yona Knight-Wisdom’s historic silver medal in the one metre springboard discipline at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, Lyn is eager to use the success to accelerate the sport locally.

“I really want to push on developing diving more in Jamaica because we have a lot of local talent,” Lyn said.

Lyn has emphasised the need for proper infrastructure in order to raise the standards of the sport.

“We need some diving boards at the National Aquatic Centre so that more divers can be encouraged (to follow) Yona, and for diving in Jamaica to be developed as another aquatic discipline with more opportunities,” he explained.

“Once you have a diving board set up, we can encourage (them). We have divers in Jamaica. We have people who knew the National Aquatic Centre when it had diving boards. It’s not that we haven’t the personnel to draw from, but we need the infrastructure. Once it is in place, the programme can be developed and fast-tracked to get other athletes to represent Jamaica.”

Lyn hopes that the support can be gained from stakeholders such as the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), who earlier this week reaffirmed their commitment to investing in its member associations, including less traditional events.

Being considered

There has been no indication publicly whether diving was also being considered for assistance. Lyn, however, said that talks are ongoing with the association, but is adamant that more partners are required to come on board if the sport is to meet its potential.

“It is something that we have already started some conversation with the JOA on, and it’s something that we need to pursue not only with the JOA, but with the Ministry of Sport as well,” he said.

Lyn sees benefits for Jamaica, not only to increase the talent pool, but also to expand Jamaica’s sport tourism profile.

“Some schools (and) colleges (overseas) want to come to Jamaica and train in the winter time, but they need to bring their diving squad with them. So it reaches out and broadens the horizon into sports tourism as well. It’s just another stepping stone where if we have the facilities, we can offer more and develop other aspects of Jamaica, not just diving, but sports tourism, hospitality, industry benefits. Lots of dominoes will fall into place,” said Lyn.

Knight-Wisdom was scheduled to compete in the men’s 3m springboard final last night. Jamaica’s Young Reggae Boyz were also scheduled to face Peru in their final group game.