THE SDF has always advocated that sporting bodies, federations and stakeholders play a much greater role in their sporting discipline's development.
Synchro Stars Jamaica has not only taken it personally but has stepped it up a notch. Synchro Stars Jamaica (Synchronised Swimming) sought and secured one of FINA's top-ranking officials, London's 2012 game changer — Jennifer Gray — to come to Jamaica for 10 days to teach, train and assess the country's national, club and schools' synchronised swimming programmes.
Jennifer Gray's coming to Jamaica has been in the making for more than a year. When she confirmed her acceptance to Synchro Stars Jamaica, funds were not available to undertake either air fare (United Kingdom) or accommodation. However, the importance of her coming to Jamaica was not to be derailed due to a lack of funds. Diahann Campbell, chairman for Synchro Stars Jamaica, reached out to the diaspora and under the guidance of Beverly Lindsay, and The Association of Jamaican Nationals (Birmingham, UK) her airfare was secured. Hotel accommodation has not yet been secured, but with the importance of what Gray has to offer the sport of synchronised swimming and other disciplines, Synchro Stars Jamaica was not about to sweat on this "small stuff".
Campbell, who is a strong believer of "pull up as you climb" took it upon herself to commit Gray's expertise to the students of UTech and GC Foster where she will be holding talks/sessions on cross training, coaching methodology and her area of specialty out of the water — sport development coaching and management.
As it relates to synchronised swimming, competition takes the form of figures and routines. Figures change every four years and the new figures were announced in Barcelona just over a month ago making Jamaica the first country in the English-speaking Caribbean to be exposed to these new figures, and by one of FINA's expert. Transitions are the methodology used in synchronised swimming to change from one position in the water to another and Gray is not only FINA's author on the topic, but the specialist as well. Her one main objective is to share her wealth of knowledge and expertise to all sport's stakeholders not limited to swimmers, parents, coaches and investors.
Campbell, who is meet manager for Jamaica International Synchronised Swimming Championship (JISSC), which is in its fifth year, boasts a series of successful events with entrants from Panama, Canada, USA, Aruba, Costa Rica, and Curacao.
In the last three years the event played host to president of USA Synchro Federation Judy McGowan, International Clinician Charlotte Davis, and USA and FINA's Barbara McNamee, who have all helped tremendously in progressing the sport in Jamaica.
The normal three-day event will be only two days to ensure maximum training sessions with the new figures under the tutelage of Gray. Curacao has confirmed with 17 swimmers, Jamaica schools and clubs as well. With the unfortunate closure of Bournemouth Swim Complex the event will be held at the National Stadium, Aquatic Centre (formally Stadium Pool) on Friday, October 4, 2013 at 6:00 pm and is dubbed "Night Synchro".
The following day there will be a morning session (8:00 am - 11:00 am) with the novices and intermediates, and in the afternoon (1:00 pm - 4:00 pm) there will be an age group (national swimmers) and masters session.