Help the beauty and majesty ‘rock’ on
Synchronised swimmers plead for financial help ahead of tourneys
SHUT your eyes for a moment and relax. Then imagine a world where three days a week your morning starts with intense water training in a swimming pool at 5:00 am.
Yes, you got that right — 5:00 am. Then weight and endurance training the other two mornings — again at 5:00 am.
And that's not all. The time-table for final exams at school is issued and your greatest fears are realised — there is a clash with competition day. It's the day you are required to represent your country as a synchronised swimmer at a meet overseas. Your appeal to the school authorities fall on deaf ears, so you will be marked absent if you are not in that exam room on D-Day, though it is publicly known you are out of school representing your country.
And it gets worse. You are then advised that if your family cannot personally underwrite the cost of your trip overseas (or most of it) to represent your country, then all the foregoing sacrifice would all have been in vain.
Then you open your eyes and realise that that awful "dream" epitomises the dilemma of most, if not all, minor team sports in Jamaica, especially those which are female gender-specific.
In a very candid interview recently, the vice-president of Synchronised Swimming in Jamaica Diahann Campbell pointed out that though this scenario is not at all new, the most disheartening thing is that with corporate Jamaica themselves struggling to keep their nose above water, getting sponsorship for the sport has become an elusive dream.
This has forced the group to "tun wi hand mek fashion". Campbell said that the group has devised a number of self-funding activities and is calling on the public to lend its support. "We do all manner of things really. Only recently we performed at a wedding at Half Moon Hotel in Montego Bay and the bride made a sizeable contribution towards our programme," she said.
"Our current fundraiser is a bumper sticker "JAMAICA SYNCHRO ROCKS!!!", which sells at $500 each. Our target is to sell a total of 2,000 stickers over the next two months," Campbell noted.
In addition, she says, well-wishers are welcome to make donations in cash -- as little a US$10.00 to Scotiabank account # 43157 to offset the cost of accommodations at the upcoming Caribbean International Swimming Championship set for Barbados and UANA Pan American Synchronized Swimming Championships in California.
"We are going to be splashing our way to glory for our country. Please bless us with your generous love and support," she pleaded.