Tue | Dec 1, 2020

Goodwill Games a great platform for young swimmers – coach

Published:Monday | August 5, 2019 | 12:23 AM- Gregory Bryce -
Members of the team that will be representing Jamaica at the 25th staging of the Goodwill Games in Suriname in August pose for the cameras during a press conference, which was held at the  National Aquatic Centre, National Stadium, in Kingston. Sharing in the moment are head coach Gillian Millwoon (right) and Amateur Swimming Association of Jamaica president Martin Lyn (second right).
Members of the team that will be representing Jamaica at the 25th staging of the Goodwill Games in Suriname in August pose for the cameras during a press conference, which was held at the National Aquatic Centre, National Stadium, in Kingston. Sharing in the moment are head coach Gillian Millwoon (right) and Amateur Swimming Association of Jamaica president Martin Lyn (second right).

As head coach Gillian Millwood continues to prepare her swimmers for the upcoming Goodwill Games, in Paramaribo, Suriname, she is aware of the significance that this meet could mean for her young swimmers.

Jamaica will be making their second ever appearance at the 25th edition of the Goodwill Games and Coach Millwood is hoping that her swimmers will make the best of the opportunity as they will face off against their Eastern Caribbean opponents.

Millwood is particularly excited about the athletes 10 years and under as this meet will be the only event where they are able to represent their country.

“This is the only meet where children 10 and under actually get to swim for their country. So this is a very good introduction for them to have this opportunity,” Millwood said. “So you’ll want them to get accustomed and acclimatised to swimming at that level and realise that this is something attainable.”

Another added benefit of the Goodwill Games that Millwood sought to highlight was that the event allowed for the swimmers to continue their training in a period that was not usually available to them.She explained that these swimmers would find themselves without any competitive event to train for after their exams and would often stop swimming.

“Before this meet, a lot of these kids, if they don’t qualify for Carifta, would literally stop swimming. When they come up to PEP or GSAT, there wouldn’t be a meet in the summer, so they would stop training until September,” said Millwood. “But this year – and last year as well – as soon as PEP was finished, they’re into the water again.”

Millwood expects several strong performances from the younger athletes.

On the female side, Rianna Scott, Jessica Denniston, Nai-Kai Campbell, and Davia Richardson are expected to put in excellent times, while on the male side, Waldon McIntosh and Zack-Andre Johnson will be among those challenging for a podium finish.

The team will be leaving the island between August 13 and 14, with the Games to start on August 16.