ASAJ sets sight on major tournaments
President of the Aquatic Sports Association of Jamaica (ASAJ), Martin Lyn, says although the doubts surrounding the Carifta Games in March and the CCCAN Swimming Championships in July is a big setback to getting junior athletes re-engaged into...
President of the Aquatic Sports Association of Jamaica (ASAJ), Martin Lyn, says although the doubts surrounding the Carifta Games in March and the CCCAN Swimming Championships in July is a big setback to getting junior athletes re-engaged into competitions, the association has every intention of attending the World Youth Championships and the Junior Pan Am Games.
The World Youth Championships will take place in Kazan, Russia, in August, while the Pan Am Games is set for Cali, Colombia, in September.
Jamaica, in 2019, failed to secure a medal at either game, but many of the nation’s young swimmers accomplished personal-best times and performances, while competing on those stages, and Lyn is hoping to send similarly strong squads to both events this year.
However, getting government approval for local competitions and training and obtaining parental approval will be critical in the strength of team they will be able to send to these events.
“We are still unsure about the Carifta Games in Barbados, also I am in contact with the CCCAN president and they are trying to ensure that we have CCCAN this year. So we await a final decision on that,” said Lyn. “But the Junior Pan Am Games is definitely slated to be on and we intend to send a good team to that. The World (youth) Championship in Canada is also on, and the last time that was held in Budapest (Hungary) we sent a very good team and really excelled and, therefore, we would like to send a similarly strong team.”
Nevertheless, there are issues that could prevent the team from travelling with their full complement or prevent athletes from performing at their best, he said.
“The question is always training and coaching. In aquatics, you need to get the kids training to a certain point then get them to peak just around the time of competition,” he said.
“If we get the approval, then training can intensify because we are already training. Then it’s a decision for the parents to allow us to send our team to these two junior meets. But if parents do not want their children to go we fully understand that,” added Lyn.
Some sports have been granted approval to resume this year, such as track and field and horse racing; however, the Government has decided to suspend the approval process until March 23, due to the latest spike in COVID-19 cases locally.
Nevertheless, based on the protocols they have submitted and the responses they have received, Lyn believes that swimming should be at the forefront when the process resumes.
“We have submitted our protocols for approval from the Ministry of Sports and we expect good feedback come March 23. We have abided by everything that we have had to do and have done more than what we have been asked.
“I would have no problem in saying we should get the approval, but I can’t say what the Government is going to do or not do,” Lyn added.
“We are in the waiting queue like other sports, but I think we are ahead of the queue or in a better position because we opened the pool since last year without any incident and we have monitored carefully and made sure we protect our athletes and anyone involve in aquatics. So we have been really meticulous,” he stated.