Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
President of the Amateur Swimming Association of Jamaica (ASAJ), Martin Lyn, has expressed delight after his administration received a whopping $7 million from title sponsors Petrojam for the March 30-April 1 Carifta Swimming Championships.
The ASAJ has now received a total of $12.5 million in sponsorship, after Caprisun also handed over a cheque for $1.2 million during a press conference, which was held at the National Stadium yesterday.
"I am feeling great," said Lyn. "The reality is that this is the largest single amount that the aquatic sport has ever received in terms of one sponsor," he said.
"It will indicate to other sponsors that they need to come on board and get in at the grass-roots level, so that when the athletes develop in later years they can say that they were part from the start," said the ASAJ boss.
Lyn added: "I am feeling very strong because when you look out there now our pool is finished and our facilities are up to speed to first-class standards."
Andrea Bent, human resource manager of Petrojam, said they are committed to the development of sports across the island.
"Jamaica's hosting of the Carifta Swimming Championships is another opportunity to not just showcase the talent of our swimmers, as important as this is, but it is an opportunity to put our country on show for the entire world to see," said Bent.
"We at Petrojam are of the firm belief that development and maintenance of sports infrastructure islandwide is critical to achieving sustained growth in national sports development," she said.
Much better performance
Jamaica won 32 medals at last year's Carifta Championships which was held in The Bahamas, and Lyn expects a much better performance at home.
"We are sending a very strong team out there and I certainly expect that we would have a better finish than what we had last year," said Lyn. "I am very confident that this can happen."
The championships will see more than 500 athletes from 21 countries participating in swimming, water polo, and for the first time in Jamaica, open water swimming, which will be held in Discovery Bay, St Ann, on the final day of the championships.
Four-time Olympian Alia Atkinson will be this year's patron of the championships.