Sun | Dec 5, 2021

Letter of the Day | Have faith in us young swimmers, too

Published:Thursday | May 2, 2019 | 12:00 AM


THIS IS my two cents regarding the article published on April 29, 2019, ‘Alvaranga not the best’.

‘Alvaranga not the best’ is a headline that can negatively impact a child’s opportunity to become great. The Aquatic Sports Association of Jamaica’s (ASAJ) president had a lot to say regarding national swimmers, showing favouritism to one swimmer who he thinks can be the next Alia Atkinson. The president would be expected to have faith in the young, up-and-coming Jamaican-based athletes being trained under the Jamaican coaches’ programmes.

It’s amazing how faith can be placed in the training programmes of overseas coaches to produce the next top swimmer.

I must agree that Emily MacDonald has done a great job at being a Jamaican national representative. However, what about the efforts of the other swimmers who played a part in the success of Carifta 2019 in Barbados?

This year has produced the highest medal count since 2006 and it ought not to be made seemingly like a three-person job, but a collective effort.

I do agree with the president when he said that “the youngster Zaneta Alvaranga is not the only promise Jamaica has in swimming,” but Zaneta is one of the many great swimmers that Jamaica can produce if coaches are willing to take advice and learn from each other.

‘Pride goeth before a fall’ is one proverb that has proved to be seemingly true throughout my years of swimming, based on what I have witnessed and heard as a young swimmer. At this year’s Carifta, we had exceptional performances from swimmers of different age groups, with the likes of Kokolo Foster and Leanna Wainwright.

Unfortunately, the president ought not to be making such statements about a swimmer, and it is disheartening when one considers the possible thoughts towards the rest of us.


There are many other things that have been happening which results in hurting us, the young swimmers. God doesn’t sleep and He knows all that is being done to jeopardise these children’s opportunities. God hears His children’s pleas and cries; He doesn’t act without reason. Luke 6 verse 31 says “Do unto others as you would have them to do unto you”.

As the ASAJ welcomes publicity, it is important that the articles being written be more sensitive to the feelings of young athletes, and the content must be factual as well.

The adults involved in swimming are acting like they are toddlers fighting over a toy, some ready to whine and scream about what is happening, but not willing to confront it head-on. I’m just giving my thoughts based on what I have seen and heard as a child who is 16 years old.

I have a myriad of different questions to ask, but the one that stands out to me the most is, what do you gain, or what satisfaction does one get, from launching attacks on minors?

As a young swimmer, I have learnt to become extremely cautious around adults on the deck, trusting only a few.