Sinclair, Rochester battle for ASAJ presidency
CURRENT vice-presidents of Aquatic Sports Association of Jamaica (ASAJ) Georgia Sinclair and Lance Rochester are both brimming with confidence as they seek to become the association’s new president ahead of Tuesday’s election.
In less than 48 hours the voting annual general meeting, set for ASAJ’s offices at Independence Park in Kingston, will see the two deputies battle for the top post as Martin Lyn, who didn’t seek re-election, demits office after serving as head of the body for over 10 years, in two stints.
Sinclair has been vice-president in charge of swimming for the past six years but told the Jamaica Observer she has what it takes to lead as president.
“I want to contribute differently. Swimming is just one of the aquatic disciplines but when you’re the president of the association you have to take a more holistic look at aquatics — it’s how we have greater integration across all the aquatic disciplines: diving, water polo, artistic swimming, open water swimming. Based on my own proven performance over the years I think I’ve shown what I can do in terms of my results. I’m a results-oriented person, I operate in terms of what I stand for, like integrity, and I want to make a difference,” Sinclair said.
Her opponent, Rochester, has served as VP in charge of water polo for over a decade but says he’s finally ready to claim the top job.
“My passion is in the aquatics world and I see an opportunity now to provide greater support to the greater development of aquatics, swimming in particular, and all the other disciplines under the aquatics umbrella which includes artistic swimming, diving, potentially high diving, open water swimming, master swimming, beach and water polo,” he told the Observer.
“I’m seeing opportunities which I don’t think we’re sufficiently leveraging for Jamaica, where swimming has the highest value proposition of any sport in Jamaica. Swimming will save people’s lives — and no other sport can do that — and I’m seeing where we haven’t evolved as rapidly as I think we need to [in order] to add the most value to the careers of our athletes — those who go on to national level and those who don’t,” he added.
Rochester is optimistic about the upcoming election on Tuesday, citing the favourable response of the voting delegates to his proposals.
“Many of the delegates are the ones that have been asking me to offer myself for several years now so [from] the outset I think I have received significant support. What I have sought to do, in the last several weeks in particular, is to outline a vision for aquatics that starts at the big-picture level: How we can provide more value to athletes, how we need to engage better with our stakeholders, how we need to better support athletes across all disciplines and parents, as well and how we need to look to spread swimming as the core across Jamaica because we are limiting ourselves as a small country by only selecting primarily from the Kingston and St. Andrew area, so that limits our potential on the world stage. That’s the essence of the vision I’ve sought to communicate, and I think because it is big-picture but I think it also focuses on all the critical elements in the life of anyone associated with aquatics. The reception has been very positive.”
Sinclair is equally as confident about acquiring the votes needed, despite having respect for her rival.
“I do have a good working relationship with the clubs, I have been reaching out to clubs for the last few weeks, sharing my manifesto. They know me very well in terms of what I’ve accomplished. The two candidates, we share similar ideologies and philosophy about where want the sport to go in terms of our vision so there hasn’t been any sort of smear campaign or anything like that. We’re both diligently going about our business, engaging with the delegates. The delegates like the ideas that I’ve shared and, hopefully, on the day that will translate in terms of votes for me,” she said.
The last time there was a contest for presidency was in 2017 when Lyn beat Handel Lamey by 10 votes, which saw the AGM ending at 1 am, after a 6 pm start time.
The only other contest on the cards for Tuesday’s election will see incumbent Shauna Jackson and Florence Grizzle-Williams vye for the post of honorary secretary.
Hilary Brown-Nixon (swimming), Marlon McIntyre (water polo) and Robyn-Ann Chin-Sang (artistic swimming) will all run unopposed for vice-presidents.