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ASAJ boss lauds new era in local swimming

Published:Wednesday | January 16, 2019 | 12:00 AMLivingston Scott
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, cuts the ribbon at the official opening of the new administrative building of the Aquatic Sports Association of Jamaica (ASAJ) at the Independence Park Complex in Kingston yesterday. Looking on are David Shirley (left), deputy chairman of Independence Park Limited (IPL), Martin Lyn (second left) president, ASAJ and Major Desmon Brown, general manager IPL.
President of the Aquatic Sports Association of Jamaica (ASAJ), Martin Lyn, says the new administrative building which was officially opened yesterday at the National Aquatic Centre at Independence Park will put the association in a position to be better managed, earn its own income and improve the sport and its athletes.
  With assistance from the government, the sports' world governing body FINA and Chinese construction company BYD, the administrative building was constructed at a cost of $25 million and Lyn says the new building signifies a new era in Jamaican swimming.
"It's a great moment because it's the realisation of a plan. Years ago we saw the need to expand our infrastructure for several reasons. The first reason is to modernise our offices and operate a more efficient aquatic centre for Jamaica's benefit. Second to create meeting rooms to host ASAJ events and thirdly have a special VIP area to offer sponsors or visitors an area that is private during our swim meets," he said
  With this world class administrative facility at their disposal, Lyn says he anticipates an outstanding year in swimming for both juniors and seniors. 
  "This is the start of the year and we look forward to regional championships like the Carifta and CCAN, also the Pan Am Games and World Championships," he said.
Minister of Sports, Olivia Grange, said her ministry did not hesitate to throw its support behind the project and commended the ASAJ for taking the initiative to seek help and even generate their own funding for the project outside of the government's assistance.
"I must say my ministry did not blink when asked to assist the ASAJ to bring the project to fruition. We are proud of the ASAJ's efforts because we feel great to see sporting bodies making a determined effort to help themselves and not rely solely on sponsorships for every undertaking. We must be grateful for the help the ASAJ got from outside the government, so we must 'big up' the construction firm BYD of China and FINA for their contributions," Grange said.
  Meanwhile, Lyn used the opportunity to announce the association's name and logo change.
  "We take the opportunity to announce the official name and logo change from the Amateur  Swimming Association of Jamaica to the Aquatic Sports Association of Jamaica. The acronym, ASAJ, remains the same and the name change has been approved by FINA for worldwide recognition," Lyn said.
  He added that the move symbolises their mission to promote all aquatic sports and the ASAJ will strive for excellence both regionally and internationally.