Fri | Jul 10, 2020

ASAJ focusing on local competition

Published:Thursday | June 4, 2020 | 12:07 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Kai Radcliffe of Queen’s Prep wins the boys 9-10 50m breaststroke in a meet record 40.17 seconds at the Mayberry Preparatory/Primary swim meet held at the National Aquatic Centre recently.
Kai Radcliffe of Queen’s Prep wins the boys 9-10 50m breaststroke in a meet record 40.17 seconds at the Mayberry Preparatory/Primary swim meet held at the National Aquatic Centre recently.

With the Carifta Games officially postponed until 2021 and no international junior competitions on the swimming calendar for the remainder of the year, Aquatic Sports Association of Jamaica (ASAJ) president, Martin Lyn, said the association will focus on local competitions this year.

Lyn anticipates they will not have any form of activity in local pools until July or August, but he is optimistic that by late September they should be able to resume competitions.

“We got the unfortunate news that Carifta (Games) in Barbados was definitely cancelled for 2020 and has been moved to 2021, where Barbados will still host the Games. So we didn’t have anything (international) to train towards this year. That was the last regional event that we were looking forward to after the World Championship cancellation and several other meets being cancelled,” said Lyn.

NO ONE TRAINING

“So for the rest of the year, no team will be sent away to represent Jamaica for aquatics, and what it means is that we will concentrate more on club meets locally. I am not sure about the Montego Bay meet (the next event on the local calendar in July), as there is nobody training, so it is going to be very difficult to host that meet because aquatics is not something you can start this week and by next week you are ready again. They (swimmers) have been out of the water for so long, it would be hard for them to jump back in and be ready immediately,” Lyn reasoned.

He, however, added that most coaches have indicated that they will need at least four weeks to get their athletes back up to a reasonable condition, and he believes that once the association is granted permission to reopen the National Aquatic Centre pools, that will lead to competitions.

“I have talked to coaches and most have given a time frame of four to six weeks to get back up to some fitness. They are going to need a minimum of four weeks, and if we are back in the pool by the middle of July, the earliest (date for competition) anybody can possibly think of is September,” said Lyn.

“When we get the pool reopened you will have athletes and parents that will still be hesitant. But if the pool is open, at least we can start moving towards 2021,” he added. “We will get it (pool) back but this (pool closure) is a huge spoke in our wheel. The only thing is that everybody has been affected, so we are all starting from scratch, but we intend to rebuild our programmes and continue on some of the positive programmes we have already established.”

livingston.scott@gleanerjm.com