Auto king Jackson calls for swimming to be part of Champs

Auto king Jackson calls for swimming to be part of Champs

Friday, January 24, 2020

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Andrew Jackson, the principal of used-car giant Jetcon Corporation, has dived into the deep end by bravely declaring that swimming should be a part of the annual ISSA Boys' and Girls' Athletic Championships.

Jackson, whose company is title sponsor for the 'Y' Speedos Swim Club Karl Dalhouse Invitational Meet, suggested “the growing” sport of swimming could benefit from Champs' global appeal and intense rivalries among schools.

“Champs has such a strong following and there are strong rivalries among the schools, and I think this will actually help to accelerate the development of swimming.

“If you look at female athletics, and you will remember the time when there was Boys' Champs and Girls' Champs, and everybody would turn out for the boys and nobody would support the girls, and since the meets have become one, the girls have now come more into the limelight and at times we are seeing up to 30,000 people in the National Stadium.

“I think that that kind of energy will come to swimming once it becomes a part of it…so the schools will realise that we can't win Champs unless we do well at swimming, and I truly believe that would aid in the development and growth of the sport,” noted Jackson.

He noted that while the idea of merging swimming with Champs may appear novel, or even crazy at this point, the businessman sought to remind that many sports that are now included in the Olympics started out as far-fetched ideas.

“There was a time when basketball, football and other sports were not Olympic sports, but they are now through strong advocacy…I know for swimming to be a part of Champs maybe far out, but maybe in five or even 10 years, who knows?” Jackson said at the media launch of the Karl Dalhouse swim meet at National Aquatics Centre on Wednesday evening.

Jetcon, the mega used-car dealership, has renewed it support for the Karl Dalhouse meet to the tune of $440,000, an input that earned the company the tag of title sponsor.

But more importantly, Jackson says he sees the investment as one in kids who mirror the pillars — commitment, dedication, talent and old-fashion hard work — on which his own company stands.

“I like the fact that it [swimming] is growing and when you look at what these kids are doing it's absolutely amazing and they start out very young…I am also impressed with the dedication as these kids are here from early in the morning, they come in the afternoon… they come here [Stadium Pool] and they go to the YMCA,” he said.

Jackson says from a business perspective, the meet gives his company visibility in a rarified atmosphere.

“With 500 athletes expected to be at the meet and about 1,000 parents, it's also a marketing opportunity for us as a company, and we will be here showcasing our cars for the entire weekend,” he concluded.

The meet, which will be held January 31-February 2 at National Aquatic Centre, is celebrating 25 years of excellence in the pool.

Althletes representing clubs from Jamaica, Bolivia, The Cayman Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands are down to compete as they seek qualifying times for the Tokyo Olympics, Carifta Swimming Championships and CCCAN meet.

— Sean Williams


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