Sun | Nov 28, 2021

Calls for centralised swimming programme for juniors

Published:Friday | May 3, 2019 | 12:15 AMAkino Ming/Staff Reporter
Christian McIntosh of St George’s College competing in the Boys’ 12 and under 50m butterfly event at the Mayberry Swim Meet held at the National Aquatics Centre on Friday April 5.
Christian McIntosh of St George’s College competing in the Boys’ 12 and under 50m butterfly event at the Mayberry Swim Meet held at the National Aquatics Centre on Friday April 5.

Vice-president of the Amateur Swimming Association of Jamaica (ASAJ) Georgia Sinclair and veteran swim coach Rory Alvarang, believe that a centralised national swimming programme for Jamaica’s junior swimmers will help them make the transition to the Olympic level.

The recommendation came after the young swimmers finished second at the recent Carifta Swimming Championships for the first time in history.

“We have to look at long-term athletics development plans from some of these developed countries. This will prevent burnout and would reduce the risk of injuries from overtraining and correct poor technique. A centralised training programme, I think, would be the way to go,” Alvaranga said during an interview with The Gleaner yesterday.

“We saw children from various clubs spend the entire month of January with the Chinese coach as a part of the Jamaica-China exchange corporation project, and we are seeing all swimmers showing personal bests in a number of events at the end of one month. Sprinters and middle-­distance swimmers all showed improvement in the data captured and presented to the Ministry (of Sport),” he added.

Sinclair says with the help of the Ministry of Sport, the ASAJ will re-establish a national swimming programme.

“We are finalising our strategic plans, and one of the areas we are looking at is re-establishing a national programme. We have had some discussions with the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport regarding the provision of technical expertise to help re-establish this programme. We do realise that this is one of the initiatives to further grow and develop our junior athletes to consistently make it to the senior level. The talent exists because we have seen it at the recently concluded Carifta,” Sinclair said.