Jamaica Gleaner / Newly elected Aquatic Sports Association of Jamaica (formerly the Amateur Swimming Association of Jamaica) (ASAJ) president, Martin Lyn, has promised constitutional changes as one of his first acts in the role.
Lyn was elected in a 32-22 decision over former president Handel Lamey at Wednesday night’s annual general meeting (AGM) at the Jamaica Olympic Association headquarters.
However, the voting was delayed for close to four hours because of confusion regarding who was allowed to vote on behalf of the local swimming clubs, and how many votes these clubs were allowed. This saw the AGM, which started at 6 p.m. Wednesday, ending just after 1 a.m. the following morning.
Based on ASAJ’s current constitution, only members of registered clubs are allowed to vote. To gain three votes, registered clubs must have at least 10 active members. If it is below 10, the club only gets one vote. The proceedings became contentious when some persons argued that the term ‘active’ was too loosely defined, as persons who were not competitive swimmers but participants in other events could be considered as such.
Lyn, who said he was disappointed at the length of time it took to come to an agreement, described the current constitution as “antiquated”.
“In my previous administration, one of the thrusts I had was to change the constitution,” he said. “I did present it to a special general meeting. It didn’t pass then – several parts of the resolution, several parts of the constitution, but the fact of the matter is that it definitely needs to be looked at. It will be looked at immediately, once we get into office. As of tomorrow morning, we will be working.”
He said that not many resolutions were voted on, or passed, because of problems with the constitution.
“Not many at all (were voted on or passed), which is one of the problems of our current constitution,” he said. “Another issue I have a fundamental difficulty with is the nomination idea (nomination from the floor on the night of the election). It is antiquated and is something that we should have changed years ago.”
Lyn said that one of the ways this issue could have been resolved was to set up a clear and defined voters list before the AGM, however, despite requests from himself and other ASAJ members, none was forthcoming.
“This is one of the issues of poor administration,” he said. “We had been calling for a voters list before this for probably about three weeks and the voters list wasn’t forthcoming. If you’re going to run an organisation, you need to have the basic ingredients such as common decency and integrity. That’s what my team and I will stand for now. “
Lyn had served as president for six years before he lost 2015’s general election to Lamey. The association’s new name was also one of the items put to a vote on the night.
– President (Diving) – Martin Lyn
– Vice-president (Swimming) – Georgia Sinclair
– Vice-president (Artistic Swimming) – Maureen Smith
– Vice-president (Water Polo) – Lance Rochester
– Secretary – Carol Thompson
– Treasurer – Florence Grizzle-Williams
– Assistant secretary/treasurer – Richard Hopkins