AFTER sitting at the feet of the best in American synchronised swimming, Jamaica will get a splash of the British experience when the head of aquatics in the United Kingdom visit the island in the last quarter of next year.
Jennifer Gray, chair of the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) in Britain and Game Maker at the recent London Olympics, will conduct a synchronised swimming judges school, work with technical officials and help enhance the national programme.
Because of her obligations with the world governing body, FINA, Gray will be available for Jamaica from September 30 to October 10, 2013.
A member of the UANA (Amateur Swimming Union of the Americas) technical committee, Gray co-authored the FINA rule book on synchronised swimming and has been conducting judges' clinics worldwide.
Her visit will come a year after president of the USA Synchronised Swimming and FINA Evaluator Judy McGowan featured in the 4th staging of the Jamaica International Synchronised Swimming Championships (JISSC) which early this month at the National Stadium, Bournemount Bath, and the YMCA.
Island Aquatics Synchro, with 23 athletes, topped the championships. Other clubs competing were Synchro Stars Jamaica (17 athletes), Cypress Swim Club of the USA, Quebec Provincial Team of Canada, and Hillel Academy Preparatory.
There was a 37 per cent increase in participation from last year, signalling a growth in the sport, according to Amateur Swimming Association of Jamaica (ASAJ) vice-president responsible for synchronised swimming Diahann Campbell.
Synchro Stars won the Novice section, Quebec Provincial took the Intermediate title, Island Aquatics the Age Group section, Cypress clinched the Masters' title, while Hillel was the top school.
With the cancellation of Carifta Synchro Championships two years in a row, the JISSC has filled the void for local athletes eager for competition.
Highlights of the JISSC include dual panel for figures, three-score and panel judges, and night synchro which was held for the first time in Jamaica.
As part of its sports tourism element, the championships facilitated visits to the Bob Marley Museum, Craft Market (downtown), Devon House, Fort Clarence, Dunn's River Falls, and guests at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston.