GASA/FINA host five days Intermediate Officials Clinic – Ahead of Goodwill swim championships set for August

(Georgetown, July 5, 2017) – As Guyana prepares to host a seven nations Goodwill swim meet in August preparation of officials are paramount. In this regard a five-day follow up Federation International De Natation Nautica Aquatic, FINA intermediate officials’ clinic opened on Wednesday at the National Aquatic Center, Lilliendaal.

Daniel McAllen, a FINA Instructor who is in Guyana to train local officials in advance of the Goodwill meet is conducting the sessions with an objective to increase the participants’  knowledge of swimming rules, to enhance their experience on deck and to increase their enjoyment of the sport.

Upon conclusion of the five days, clinic participants will be awarded a FINA-accredited certificate of completion.

This certificate course the FINA official said is a booster to the participant’s desire to improve themselves and by extension Aquatic Sports in Guyana. “It also helps the officials to think regionally and internationally so that they are prepared to officiate at major FINA Championships,” he said.

Over the next five days, the participants will be exposed to training principals based upon the qualities of a good official, knowledge of the rules of swimming, the correct way to apply rules, timing rules, philosophy of officiating among other areas.

Categorical, McAllen said, “this is more of an interactive participatory exchange between students and lecturer/ trainer that will work in the best interest of developing the official human resource capacity of swimming in Guyana and the region as opposed to being a talk shop.”

Meanwhile, the FINA official dubbed the National Aquatic Center as “a world-class facility that lacks a major component of an electronic timing system.” This was noted given his travel experience of travel to other nations.

“I’m actually surprised that you have this level of facility with no electronic timing system which provides for timing accuracy for swimmers,” McAllen noted.

President of Guyana Amateur Swimming Association (GASA), Mr Ivan Persaud said the clinic serves to offer much needed education on officiating to our affiliates. The training exercise offers a battery of twenty-five (25) officials comprising referees, starters, stroke and turn judges, time keepers etc. an opportunity to be better ahead of the planned GoodWill Aquatics Championships 2017.

He noted too that the upcoming event has a direct basis on the workshop and “spotlights Guyana as host of swimmers from seven countries each of which will field frothy swimmers.”  Athletes to the upcoming event slated August 18-20 are headed Guyana’s way would represent The Bahamas, Grenada, Barbados, St Lucia, Trinidad and Suriname.

Trevor Williams representing Minister Nicolette Henry declared the FINA Intermedia Officials Clinic Open and commended the GASA and the visiting FINA official, Mr Daniel McAllen for affording local officials the opportunity.

Expressing elation, Williams spoke of the moves from strength to strength being made by the GASA as it actively increases the capacity of Guyana’s capability to hold swimming meets and tournaments here in Guyana.

He also noted that the training will give our swimmers the opportunity to compete in Guyana at local and international levels.

Williams reminded the gathering that the 2017’s Goodwill Swim Meet has a record number of competitors headed to Guyana through the GASA working in collaboration with FINA and the Government of Guyana and noted that “we now have the capacity to cater for this increase.”

For that meet, Guyana is expected to be invaded by more than 200 swimmers from six countries in the region to participate in this flagship annual short course meet in August. This fabulous news puts Guyana on the map as a premier destination for swimming.

“This is exactly where we need to be because Guyana is the land of many waters… and as a nation, we are water people, as water and swimming are part of our recreational culture. If you ever stop and look at our children enjoying an afternoon at the creek you can observe that they are fearless in water,” Williams posited.

He stressed the need for Guyana as a nation to harness that talent to produce phenomenal athletes that can represent our country at competitive swim meets locally, in the Caribbean and on the international stage.

“We cannot do that until we have the infrastructure and organisations to support our future swimming competitors. But being here today reinforces the fact that this is happening,” Williams said.   Solidifying his point Williams referenced the inspirational, historic achievements of Jamaican’s Alia Atkinson who became the first black woman to win a gold world swimming title as well as the more recently, Simone Ashley Manuel who at the 2016 Rio Olympics took home two golds and one silver medal in the pool.

Closer to home Williams spoke of Guyanese Hannibal Gaskin, Guyana’s representative to last year’s Rio Olympics competing alongside the best in the world.

“In years to come with this example of our continued commitment to swimming excellence we will be able to grow on his outstanding achievement on the world stage, he emphasized.

Among his remarks, Williams encouraged the participants to take up swimming for all of the obvious health benefits but also posited that “if a parent swims their children also swim. We too have to build the capacity of a pool of future swimming stars.

And that includes adding swimming in the national curriculum to produce a nation of confident recreational and competitive swimmers.”

Brian Smith spoke on the behalf of the National Sports Commission and lauded the efforts of the coordinators while encouraging the participants to seize the opportunity to be better and more professional at their skills set advancement.


(Mondale Smith and Tekia Hanover)



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