ASAJ eager to make a splash again
President of the Aquatic Sports Association of Jamaica (ASAJ), Martin Lyn, said getting the Government’s approval to host time trials will be of great benefit to young local swimmers seeking qualification times for regional and international competitions, as well as scholarship opportunities.
After more than a year with no competitive swimming taking place locally, the ASAJ received the go-ahead from the Government last week for competitive swimming to resume, albeit in the form of time trials. Approval was earlier granted for training purposes.
Lyn noted that not only will young swimmers now have the opportunity to earn qualifying marks for international events, but those looking to secure scholarships overseas will also need current times to prove they meet required standards and for their seeding.
“We are very happy to have the approval for the return of swim trials. It has taken longer than expected to get approval but the key is that we have gotten approval, not for just one meet, but a series of time trials,” said Lyn. “This means the athletes can compete against each other and get up-to-date times, which we can use for regional and international meets whenever they come up.
“Some athletes are looking to go away to universities and colleges and need qualification times to meet those required standards in America or UK to be seeded properly. So it is not just international and regional meets, athletes need it for the university and college applications as well,” Lyn shared.
“But the approval for time trials is excellent and a great opportunity for us to set some times moving to the end of 2021 and going into 2022,” he added.
The association plans its first event for May 8-9, and Lyn said that adhering to the protocols will be priority as they intend to keep competitions ongoing.
“We have other conditions that we have to adhere to and the time has been short but we are so excited and driven and we will ensure we put everything in place for May 8. We also want to ensure that for the first set of trials, we follow everything perfectly to ensure the continuation of the trials,” he said.
APPROVAL EQUALS OPPORTUNITIES
Y-Speedos swim coach Julian Millwood agrees that getting approval for the trials will open opportunities for young swimmers once more.
“The kids are glad to get back into racing and get back into scholarship-earning opportunities. The absence of meets has been a challenge for a lot of people, as they have missed out on opportunities,” Millwood said.
“The major thing is to get opportunities to just race again. We have been in the training settings but everybody understand that in sports, official competitions is totally different from training. We have to get them reintroduced to racing, as this year it is about getting back to racing and building up for the coming year,” she added.
Jamaica’s junior swimmers are scheduled to compete at the CCCAN in June and the Pan Am Junior Championships in September.