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ASAJ Looking Ahead to Carifta

Published:Monday | May 8, 2017 | 12:00 AMShayne Fairman
A swim meet being hosted at the National Aquatics Centre in Kingston. This will be the venue for next year's Carifta Swimming Championships.

Ahead of hosting next year's Carifta Swimming Championships in Kingston, Handel Lamey, Amateur Swimming Associ-ation of Jamaica (ASAJ) president, says that organisation will be targeting early improvements to the National Aquatics Centre facilities for the regional Easter Weekend event.

The last time the country hosted the championships was in Kingston in 2013, where they picked up a total of 12 gold medals.

According to Lamey, ASAJ recently had a planning team at the championships in The Bahamas to observe, and, hopefully, implement strategies to host next year's Games.

"We have already started planning from December last year. We have a team in place and we had observers - persons who are on the planning team - in The Bahamas looking at their set-up, and they returned home and will be putting in place some of the things that they observed, and some of the best practices that we learnt," Lamey said.

At this year's championships in The Bahamas, Jamaica placed sixth overall, with 530.50 points, and 12 gold, eight silver, and 10 bronze (30 medals).

"We want to improve our physical facility to be able to hold this championship and upgrade some of the facilities at the pool - our starting blocks, lane dividers, the stands - and also the physical facilities in terms of the buildings," Lamey told The Gleaner.

Lamey's ASAJ is hoping for a buy-in from corporate Jamaica to help offset the cost of hosting the championships.

"We are doing a promoter and sponsors' package so that corporate sponsors can get on board, with the CARIFTA promotion, and the generation of the interest before CARFITA," he explained, adding the hope is to give sponsors "a better level of exposure from their products".

Lamey added that in a couple of months, Carifta 2018 plans will begin to "be unveiled", adding that the National Aquatics Centre will have "adequate seating for spectators".