Good to go!

Large 26-member team departs for ASATT Invitational

Observer staff reporter

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

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The preparation phase is over and the Amateur Swimming Association of Trinidad and Tobago (ASATT) Invitational Championships now beckons for Jamaica's young swimmers.

The 26-member team from four clubs and comprising mostly debutantes is set to converge on Couva to plot the course towards another successful outing at the four-day meet. They depart for the twin-island republic today.

Scheduled to take place tomorrow through to Sunday at the new Aquatic Centre, the ASATT Invitational, now in its 38th staging, holds some rich history on the aquatics calendar since its inception back in 1978 when it was known as the Marlins Invitational, hosted by Marlins Swim Club in Trinidad and Tobago.

The meet is once again expected to attract over 400 swimmers from Barbados, Guyana, St Lucia, Sierra Leone, Jamaica, among others.

Jamaica's participation at the meet has been recent and Georgia Sinclair, manager of the Y-Speedos Swim Club which fields 15 swimmers of the lot, expressed joy with the increase in representation.

“Our participation in the meet started in 2010 when I was the only person taking my two kids, and then in 2014 it increased and again in 2015 we had Rory (Alvaranga) and some others come on board, and then last year we had the largest number in eight swimmers.

“But this year we have 15 swimmers from Y-Speedos only and 26 overall, and when we look at the overseas clubs I understand that we are the largest contingent. So I am excited and the swimmers are excited, as they have been communicating among themselves about what they hope to achieve from the meet,” she told the Jamaica Observer.

For Sinclair, who is also the vice-president of swimming in the recently installed Aquatic Sports of Jamaica (ASAJ) administration, the country's participation at the meet this year is two-fold.

“This is an important meet for a number of those swimmers hoping to make that Carifta cut, because this is a qualifying meet and a number of them will be aging up for next year.

“So say for instance Zaneta (Alvaranga) who swam this year in 11-12, she will be going over to 13-14 and Kyle (Sinclair) will be aging up to a very difficult group in 15-17. So this meet is crucial for them to get the time and build on their form heading into the Carifta Swimming Championships next year, which will be hosted in Jamaica; so this also provides an opportunity for us to promote what we have to offer for that,” the Trinidadian noted.

She pointed out that last year's 19-medal haul by a small, eight-member team speaks volumes and has motivated the team, moreso the younger swimmers, who will be getting a taste of regional competition for the first time.

“We are in high spirits that we are going with such a large group; and we are looking forward to some fast swims and best times because that is what it is all about. If the medals and trophies come we will take that but it is really about those personal best times, and in this Trinidad pool over the years we have had some really good times,” Sinclair revealed.

“We have seen over the years the high level of competition at this meet as we actually compete against some of the very countries we will be competing against at Carifta, so we get to feel out where the swimmers are and what adjustments need to be made.

“Some swimmers have aged up into other groups so they might find it a bit challenging, but we are confident that the performances that we will get in the pool will be creditable because the swimmers have expressed a desire to come home with at least a high-point trophy,” she continued.

Full delegation: Imani Salmon, Layllani Foster, Khiara Roomes, Kaheem Lozer, Zaneta Alvaranga, Sayidah Brown, Giana Francis, Christanya Shirley, Kokolo Foster, Raina and Kara Hutchinson, Naomi Eaton, Karci Gibson, Callier Maxwell, Saamanta Selvon, Sage Sinclair, Chester Adams, Akeem Alleyne, Dante Douett, Ernest Hoo Kim, Javaun Jackson, Zack-Andre Johnson, Jordane Payne, Kyle Sinclair, Brandon Wong, and Zachary Randall.

Dr Tana Ricketts-Roomes (manager), Georgia Sinclair (manager), Rory Alvaranga (coach), Gillian Millwood (coach).




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