Carifta Synchronised Swim Champs called off — againWednesday, February 15, 2012
BY PAUL BURROWES Observer writer
THE 2012 Carifta Synchronised Swim-ming Championships, which Jamaica would have hosted this Easter, has been cancelled.
"It was just not viable to host such a game with the sparse entries and the possibilities of early withdrawals which has happened in the past with host country left with tickets and hotel accommodation but no competition and no recourse," said vice-president in charge of synchronised swimming, Diahann Campbell.
Preliminary entries showed Aruba fielding at least a seven-member team in the 12 & Under category and Barbados one member in the 13-15 group.
Jamaica would have showcased at least 15 swimmers in solo, duet, and team performances.
"With all this hard work and strengthening the Synchronised Swimming foundation, Jamaica was poised to start the Aquatics National Swimming year strong with its CARFITA 2012 squad," Campbell pointed out.
For the 13-15 division, Jamaica would have showcased Jamielya Shaw, Charlotte Ausan, Alexandria Hinds, Breann Campbell, Joely Campbell, Bianca Cisneros-Wynter, Kenya-Amber Beek, Rachel Minto-Walker, with Rhea Rampair, and Pia-Milan Green as an alternates.
In the 12 & Under, T'Neil Gooden, Ajoni Llewellyn, Nyouka Baugh, Dajone Leslie, Shernet Swearine-Gullotta were set to take centre stage with Soyini Johnson and Hannah Smith as the alternates.
The cancellation of the event was a disappointment to local swimmers, with the Amateur Swimming Association of Jamaica (ASAJ) having kept pace with top countries by holding trials three months in advance.
This was to give the athletes sufficient time to improve based on trials scores and to get the judges' feedback (a first); timely dissemination of information to ensure full commitment from swimmer, parent and coach; to facilitate squad clinics for synchronisation and synergy which was extremely necessary in synchronised swimming; and for fund-raising.
"...It (cancellation) was an extremely hard decision to make and when making it we hoped that our rationale would be understood by the clients and also the... stakeholders," Campbell stressed.
"With the fact that CARIFTA SY has now been cancelled two years in a row (it also happened in Barbados last year) and for the same reason (low or no entries in the categories), it's time to assess its importance to the region... we don't intend to be denied this entry level age group competition that warrants national status to be neglected," he said.
"While the Federation is turning its eyes now on CISC (Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships) to be held in Aruba June 21-28, the discipline of synchronised swimming intends to present a paper to CARIFTA Congress this year in Bahamas...," said a frustrated Campbell.
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